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Full text of "Autobiography of Amos Kendall"

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Columbia Institution 



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AUTOBIOGRAPHY 



OF 



AMOS KENDALL 



EDITED BY HIS SON-IN-LAW, 



WILLIAM STICKNEY. 

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BOSTON: 
LEE AND SHEPAED, PUBLISHERS. 

NEW YOKK: 
LEE, SHEPARD, AND DILLINGHAM. 

1872. 



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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1872, 

BY WILLIAM STICKNEY, 

in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 



University Press: Welch, Bigelow, & Co., 
Cambridge. 



INTRODUCTION. 



The present work has been prepared in compliance with the 
wish of him whose career it undertakes to describe. In his life 
Mr. Kendall shunned personal notoriety, with a sensitiveness re- 
markable in one so accustomed to public station and contact with 
the world. He was widely known, as much so perhaps as any 
American of his time; but it was in his public capacity as an 
editor, as a government official, as a politician, as the promoter of 
a great material enterprise. Of his private life the outside world 
knew but little. What a husband he was, what a father, friend, 
and Christian, the thousands who honored his great powers and 
admired his achievements were almost wholly ignorant. 

It is not the object of the present work to expose to public 
scrutiny his inner private life. Its purpose is simply to set forth 
the leading facts in his career, to exhibit his intense patriotism, 
which was indeed his ruling passion, and to make such revelations 
of his purely personal history as are essential to the completeness 
and symmetry of the narrative. The means to that end, the ma- 
terials for the work, have been almost wholly furnished by his own 
hand, and this memoir, though edited by another, is, in fact as in 
name, an autobiography. 

It is often said that the history of every human life, even the 
humblest, furnishes some instructive pages, and it was a recog- 
nition of this truth, and a consciousness that his own experience 
had been rich, far beyond the average, in lessons especially fitted 
for the guidance of American youth, that prompted his desire that 
this record should be made. That his estimate of the exemplary 



iv INTRODUCTION. 

value of his own career was just, it is believed the following pages 
will sufficiently prove. If they do not. — if there shall be found few 
instructive lessons, whose observance is a condition of our national 
welfare, in the life of Amos Kendall, — it may still be claimed that 
his was purely and distinctively an American life, and as such 
deserves careful study in these days when nationality is in danger 
of fading into a mere ideal sentiment. 

The work of the editor in the preparation of this volume has 
been mainly that of selection and arrangement. The mere story of 
Mr. Kendall's career is, for the most part, told in his own words, — 
than which no words could tell it better. These writings represent 
and reflect with strict fidelity the nature of their author, and are 
themselves comprehensively and felicitously biographical. 

The editor's chief difficulty has been in selecting from the great 
mass of Mr. Kendall's writings those best fitted for a place in the 
present work. This difficulty has been a serious one, and the 
necessity of confining the volume within reasonable limits has 
caused the omission of a large amount of matter which seemed, 
and still seems, essential to a satisfactory, treatment of the subject. 
But it was necessary to draw the line somewhere, and this the 
editor has done according to his best judgment. 

In offering this autobiography to the public, the editor has 
made no claim for it of literary merit or artistic and effective con- 
struction. Its preparation has been to him a labor of love, and if 
he has succeeded in giving a view not wholly unworthy and in- 
adequate of the life and character of one whom it was his privilege 
to know intimately and love tenderly, — one of the very last of 
" the simple great ones gone," — he will consider his labor well be- 
stowed, and his reward sufficient. 

WM. STICKNEY. 

Washington, D. C, February 1, 1872. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

Pages 
The Kendall Family. — Birth of Amos. — Farm Life. — Family Government. 

— The Fiddle. — School Days. — Sally Wright. — Kidd's Treasures. — In- 
vents a Pump. — Spearing Pickerel. — Cruelty to Animals. — Maternal 
Affection. — " 'Lection Day." — Fox Hunting. — Enters Academy. — First 
Declamation. — Second Declamation. — Teaches School. — Enters Dart- 
mouth College. — The Sleigh-Ride. — The Stage upset. — Early Composi- 
tions. — College Pranks. — Card-playing. — Sacrifice of Homer. — Village 
Riots. —The Duel . . . 1-25 

CHAPTER II. 

College Life. — Adventure. — Divining Rods. — Again teaches School. — 
Quarter-Day. — Temperance Movement in College. — College Riot. — Ine 
Hcbcr. — Dancing. — Journey to Vermont. — Cold Friday. — Body Snatch- 
ers. — Cattle in College Cellar. — Political Parties in College. — Death of 
Professor Hubbard. — Musical Reform . 26-55 

CHAPTER III. 

First Appointment on Senior Quarter-Day. — Zerah Colburn, the Boy Mathe- 
matician. — School Teaching in Weston. — First Honors. — Philoi Eiiphra- 
dias. — Commencement. — Review of College Life. — Studies Law. — Music 
Reform Societies. — AVar with Great Britain. — Northern Sentiment on the 
War. — National Fast. — Perpetual Motion. — Politics. — First Visit to the 
Theatre. — Boston Churches. — First Vote. — Sickness. — Poetry. — Sham- 
Fight. — Mr. Richardson. — In Love 56-90 

CHAPTER IV. 

Family Meeting at Deacon Kendall's. — Adieu. — Journey from Boston to 
Washington in 1814. — President's Levee. — Arrangements with Mr. Bled- 
soe of Kentucky. — Journey from Washington to the Ohio River. — Pitts- 
burg. — Voyage in a Fiat-Boat. — Blannerhassett's Island. — ( 'incinnati. — 
On Foot to Lexington. — Cut Money. — Disappointment. — Enters Family 
of Mr. Clay. — Observations. — Unruly lioys. — Kentucky Training. — Party 
at Mrs. Clay's. — Drafting. — Miseries of Human Life. — Air Castles. — How 
to be Popular. — Victory. — Evening Party 91-128 



vi CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER V 

Examination for Admission to the Bar in Frankfort. — Perplexed. — Better sac- 
rifice One Hundred Thousand Men and preserve the Union. — Land Specu- 
lation. — Peace. — Illumination. — Murder Trial. — Resigns the Sceptre of 
Pedagogue. — A Mathematical Problem. — Sickness. — Kindness of Mrs. 
Clay. — Professional Services. — Becomes Editor and Postmaster. — In Court. 

— "The Religious Intelligencer."— Trouble 129-162 

CHAPTER VI. 

Land Claim. — Financial Troubles. — Death of the "Minerva Press." — Collect- 
ing Tour. — " Fair Mary Ann." — Restless. — Birth of the Georgetown " Pa- 
triot." — Poetry. — Colonel Johnson. — Lovedale. — Journey to Indiana. — 
Swiss Settlements. — Politics. — " Good-bye, Ann." — Compensation of 
Members of Congress. — Contrast. — Removes to Frankfort. — The "Argus 
of Western America." — Lively Times. — Dr. Anthony Hnnn. — "The Com- 
mentator " and Mann Butler. — Plain Truth. — Free Suffrage. — Humphrey 
Marshall. — Political Triumph. — John H. Farnham. — Personal Attacks. — 
Editorial Rules of Conduct. — Knob Lick 16rf - 198 

CHAPTER VII. 

Renewal of Charter of United States Bank. — Arguments in favor of United 
States Bank. — Failure of the Bank to "regulate the Currency," etc. — Bank 
unconstitutional. — Taxing Branches of Bank in Ohio. — Review of Decision 
of Supreme Court. — Constitution derives not its Authority from the People 
in Mass. — The Government not one of a Popular Majority. — Enumerated 
Powers. — Laws "necessary" and "proper." — Powers of States and the 
United States on some Subjects coequal. — Opinion of Alexander Hamilton. 

— "Alarming Times." — "Change your Tone or change your Coat." — Banks 
in general. — Sketches on Education. — How a Republic may be well gov- 
erned. — Primary Schools. — Relief Measures. — Establishment of a School 
Fund. — Value, and a Standard of Value. — Money. — Paper Currency. — 
Friend to Relief 199-236 

CHAPTER VIII. 

Marriage. — Letter from Miss Mary B. Woolfolk. — Letters to Miss Woolfolk. 

— Letters to his Wife. — Principles of the "Argus." — Habit is second Nature. 

— Shadrach, his Life. — Schools. — Shadrach replies. — Schools, continued. 

— An English Traveller's Opinion. — Ohio and the Federal Court. — Secre- 
tary of State and the Presidency. — Common Schools. — Circular . 237 - 257 

CHAPTER IX. 

Prospectus of Kendall and Merriwether. — Sunday Reflections on the Bible. — 
Ominous. — Sunday Reflections on Religion. — Death of his Wife. — Obitu- 
ary. — Ability as a Writer . 258 - 268 

CHAPTER X. 
Second Marriage. — Letters to his Wife. —Appointment as Fourth Auditor 269-295 



CONTENTS. VJi 

CHAPTER XI. 

Review of Government during First Three Years of General Jackson's Term. — 
History of his Connection with the Government. — Duff Green and the Pub- 
lie Printing. — Colonel Richard M. Johnson. — Anne Royal. — Transporta- 
tion of Sunday Mails. — "Who elected General Jackson ? — Flight of Adams 
and his Cabinet. — Abuses in Office. — Franking Letters. — Private Journal. 

— Circular 296-320 

CHAPTER XII. 

Letter from Kentucky Friends. — To Caleb Atwater, in reply to a Threatening 
Letter. — Perpetual Motion. — Cylinder Steamboat. — Letters to his Wife. 

— Appointment as Postmaster-General. — Testimonial of Clerks in Fourth 
Auditor's Office. — Opinion of the Public Press. — Narrative of his Connec- 
tion with the Post-Office Department. — Interview with General Jackson. — 
Major Barry. — Department in Debt. — Corruption. — Improvement of the 
System. — Duties of different Officers connected with the Department. — . 
Bidding for Contracts. — "Straw Bids." — The Post-Office organized as an 
Independent Department. — Post-Office Law of 1835. — Specific Appropria- 
tions. — Act of 1836 321-347 

CHAPTER XIII. 

Samuel L. Gouverneur, Postmaster at New York. — Stockton and Stokes. — 
Corruption. — Responsibility of the Head of a Department to the Courts for 
his Official Action. — Unjust Verdict. — Committed to the Prison Limits. — 
Silas Wright. — Truth and Honesty vindicated. — Peter G. Washington. — - 
Elisha Whittlesey. — Major Eaton. — Free. — Testimonial of Clerks in Post- 
Office Department. — Notice to Postmasters. — Bill for Money-Order Bureau 
ifl 1838. — Reply to an Invitation while in Prison Limits. — A Sentiment. 

— Letter from William Smith. — ■ Letter from Martin Van Buren. — Post- 
master-General's Report. — Letter to his Wife from the Hermitage. — Hon. 
Horatio King. — Death of Mr. Kendall's Father . . . . 348 - 369 

CHAPTER XIV. 

Origin of the "Globe" Newspaper. — General Duff Green. — Isaac Hill. — Close 
Vote in the Senate. — John C. Calhoun. — Francis P. Blair. — "Globe" and 
"Telegraph" Newspapers. — Thomas H. Benton. — liemoval of Deposits. — ■ 

— Martin Van Buren. — William J. Duane. — A Delicate Service. — Lewis 
Cass. — Levi Woodbury. — William T. Barry. — Roger B. Taney. — Impor- 
tant Mission. — Instructions. — James Gordon Bennett. — Breakfast Party 
of Three. — President's Eeasons for removing Deposits. — Removal of Duane. 

— The coming Storm. — Henry Clay sounds the Tocsin. — Calhoun musters 
his Forces. — "Richmond Enquirer." — Meeting of Congress. — President's 
Message. — Clay in the Senate and McDuffie in the House. — A Call on the 
President declined. — Clay's Resolutions. — President's Policy denounced. — 
Niles's Register. — Public Meetings. — " Executive Usurpation." — Remon- 
strances, Memorials, and Petitions pour into Congress. — General Agitation. 
— Daniel Webster. — Theodore Frelinghnysen. — "A Moment of Spasm and 
Agony." — Delegations to the President. — The Old Hei'o roused. — Senate 



viii CONTEXTS. 

Resolutions condemning the President. — A Protest from the President. — 
Additional Resolutions. — House of Representatives sustain the Executive. 

— Consequences .......... 370 - 422 

CHAPTER XV. 

Letter to Henry A. Vise. — Thomas Ritchie. — "Babbling Politicians." — 
"William J. Graves. — Letter to his "Wife. — Evils of Secession shown in a Po- 
litical Address in 1832. — The Federal Union must be preserved. — Remov- 
als from Office. — Retirement from Post-Office Department. — Letter of 
Resignation. — Reply of President Van Buren. — Resumes the Quill. — 
"Kendall's Expositor." — "What is Democracy. — Kendall Green. — A 
Good Wife. — A Short Sermon. — Death of President Harrison. — A Fable, 
Uncle Sam and his Dogs. — Another Sermon. — The "Union Democrat." 

— Tariff Taxation, a Dialogue. — Party Names. — Tariff Taxation. — Third 
Dialogue. — Crawford's Statue of "Washington 423 - 461 

CHAPTER XVI. 

Our own Affairs. — Tariff Taxation. — Cost of Collection. — Who pays the 
Tax, etc. — W T eight on Producing Classes. — No Remedy. — A Blow at 
Trade. — Effect on Foreign Producer. — Reaction of Tariff Taxation. — W'hy 
preferred. — Protective Tariff. — Partnership. — How it operates. — Sugar, 
Illustration. — Salt. — For Protection, for Revenue. — Arguments answered. 

— Cheapens Manufactures. ■ — Custom-House Frauds. — Smuggling. — Pro- 
hibitory Tariff. — National Independence. — A Retaliatory Tariff. — W r hat 
Tariffs are like. — Deceptions of the System. — Free Trade. — Practical 
Exposition. — Home Market. — Not a Sectional Question. . . 462-503 

CHAPTER XVII. 

New Things. — Life of Jackson. — Mr. Wise. — Comets. — Partnership in 
Agency Business. • — End of the Comet. — Government. — Same, continued. 

— Awful Visitation ; Explosion on the Princeton. — Captain Stockton. — 
The Sub-Treasury ; what is it ? — Ourself. — Not a Sermon. — Private Char- 
acter. — Close of Editorial Labors 504-526 

CHAPTER XV11I. 

Connection with the Electric Tel?graph. — Letters to his Wife. — Death of his 
Son W r illiam. — Death of his Wife's Mother and Brother by Fire. — Letters 
to his W T ife. — Reasons why Men should not live always. — Letters. — Death 
of his Daughter Adela. — Letter to a Defaulter. — Letters to his Wife. — 
General McCalla. — Birthday. — Letter to Professor Morse. — Letter to 
William Stickney. — Letter to Rev. G. W. Samson, on Predestination 527 -554 

CHAPTER XIX. 

The Columbia Institution- for the Deaf and Dumb. — Letter on the Times in 
1856/ — Letter to James Buchanan. — Letter to A. P. Hayne, on General 
Jackson. — Lecture before Young Men's Christian Association : Subject, 
Christianity. — Letter to James L. Orr. — "Threats will never bring Peace." 
— Letter to the "Constitution." — Extracts from Papers. — Articles on Seces- 



CONTENTS. i x 

sion. —Letter to J. D. Caton. — "No War." — Letters to Samuel Medary, 
Simon Cameron, W. H. Seward, William Stickney. — Death of his Son 
John. — Letter to a Friend ........ 5o5 - 627 

CHAPTER XX. 

Lecture before Young Men's Christian Association, on General Jackson. — Let- 
ters to W. H. Seward, Alfred T. Goodman, Henry S. Randall, J. J. Critten- 
den, W. D. Wallach, Editor of "Evening Star." — Letters to Hon. J. D. 
Caton. — Responsibilities of Postmasters. — Clerical Rebuke. — Letter on 
Public Affairs. — Death of his Second Wife. — Religious Experience. — A 
True Practical Christian. — Religious Convictions. — Letter to Rev. T. R. 
Howlett. — His Baptism. — Baptism of his Grandson. — Immersion not 
Baptism. — "Marrying the Church." — The Lord's Prayer. — Dedication 
of the Church. — Sunday-School Work. — Collections in Churches. — Condi- 
tions of his Deed of Gift. — Trip to Europe. — Letter from Paris to Rev. T. 
R. Howlett. — Visits Africa and Asia. — Welcome Home. — Destruction of 
the Church. — Moves to the City., — "Little Children." — Failing Health. 
-/- Donation to Colitfnbian College.) — General Jackson. — Man's Nature. — 
Kededication of the Church. — Trip North. — Returns in Feeble Condition. 

— Continues to fail. — Messages to the Church. — Endowment of Two Mis- 
sion Sunday-Schools. — Death. — Funeral. — Letter from Professor Morse. 

— Conclusion 628-692 

Appekdix . 693-700 




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AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 



CHAPTEE I. 

The Kendall family is one of the oldest in New England. The 
traditions of the family represent that two brothers, Thomas and 
Francis Kendall, came from England about 1640, and settled in 
Woburn, Massachusetts. Thomas had no sons. 

Francis Kendall, the progenitor of the family, had four sons, 
Francis, Thomas, Ealph, and Jacob, — all born in America. 

Jacob, born in 1686, was twice married, and had nine sons, 
Jacob, Daniel, Joseph, and Hezekiah by his first wife, and John, 
Ebenezer, David, Nathan, and Abraham by his second wife. 

John, Ebenezer, and Abraham moved to Dunstable about the 
year 1726. There John had five sons, John, Jacob, Temple, Ed- 
ward, and Zebedee." 

John the second had two sons, John and Zebedee. 

Zebedee, the father of Amos, had nine sons, six of whom grew 
to manhood ; namely, Zebedee, Samuel, George-Minot, Amos, 
John, and Timothy. All these were living in 1858, presenting 
an array of old men not common in the same brotherhood. « 

Amos Kendall was born on Sunday, the 16th day of August, 
1789. From early boyhood he was habituated to hard work on 
his father's farm. The farm was composed of bog meadow, pine 
plains, and oak hills. The meadows yielded the coarser kinds of 
grasses intermixed with various ferns, cranberry-vines, and small 
bushes ; but they also supplied most of the hay on which the 
cattle subsisted during the long New England winters. Through 
these meadows meandered a sluggish stream called Salmon Brook, 
stocked with various kinds of fish. The pine plains rested on a 
bed of gravel, and, except along the foot of the hills, were almost 
barren. From these, however, the bread of the family was for the 
J. 



2 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

most part drawn. Next to the hills there were two four-acre 
fields cultivated alternately in corn and rye. The corn crop was 
always manured, and the rye was sown in the fall among the 
corn; so that these fields were manured alternately every other 
year. The plains between these fields and the meadows were gen- 
erally used as sheep pastures, but once in five or six years they 
produced a very small crop of rye of excellent quality. 

The oak hills were composed of clay soil, so full of rocks in 
many places as to preclude cultivation without removing them. 
With great labor small tracts were so far cleared as to become 
good upland meadow, furnishing excellent hay for horses and 
working oxen. These uplands supplied an abundance of stones, 
with which the whole farm, except the pine plains, was enclosed ; 
the fences were of stone combined with posts and rails. The up- 
land meadows were cultivated in potatoes or corn once in five or 
six years, but seldom in rye, on account of its inferior quality 
when produced on a clay soil. A patch of flax was generally a 
part of the annual crop, and this, with the wool from a small flock 
of sheep, manufactured and made up in the household, furnished 
almost the entire clothing of the family. 

The rougher portions of the upland, much of which was never 
cultivated, furnished pasturage for the horses, oxen, and milch cows 
during the summer; but as much of the stock as was not used 
on the farm was generally driven in the spring to a pasture on 
Flat Mountain, in New Ipswich, N. H., twenty-five miles distant, 
whence it was brought back in the fall. 

The father and mother of Amos Kendall were exemplary mem- 
bers of the Congregational Church, of which the former was a 
deacon. Grace before and thanks after meat, and morning and 
evening prayers, with the reading of a chapter in the Bible and 
the singing of a hymn on Sunday, accompanied by the bass-viol, 
played by their oldest son while he was at home, constituted the 
regular religious exercises of the family. The father and mother 
never failed to attend church on Sunday, except in case of sickness 
or when absent from home ; and the entire family, one member 
only excepted, were required to maintain a like regularity in 
Sabbath observances. Except in special cases, all labor beyond 
the simplest preparation of food for man and beast and all recrea- 
tion were strictly prohibited on Sunday. The evening was spent 
in learning and reciting the Westminster Catechism, in reading 



BOYHOOD. 3 

religious books, and in practising sacred music. The whole family 
could sing, and when all were present, could carry all the four 
parts of ordinary tunes. 

The family government was strict, and, so far as it bore upon 
their eldest children, severe. They were not only prohibited 
from dancing, playing cards, and all like amusements, but from 
going to places where they were practised. The consequence was, 
that the elder sons deceived their parents and indulged in those 
forbidden recreations clandestinely. But a change came over the 
father and mother before Amos grew up, and with him and the 
younger children advice and admonition took the place of prohibi- 
tion. 

The change which took place in the minds of this worthy pair 
with reference to domestic discipline is well illustrated by an ex- 
ample. When Amos was a little boy, a fiddle was an abomination 
to his father and mother. His eldest brother, who had quite a 
taste for music, having constructed a bass-viol or two, determined 
to try his hand upon a fiddle, and produced a very good instru- 
ment. 

Not daring to bring it to the house, he kept it in a cooper's 
shop not far distant. His father, hunting there for something 
one day, mounted a bench, so that his head was raised above the 
beams of the shop, when his eyes fell upon the unlucky fiddle. He 
took it by the neck, and apostrophizing it, " This is tlie first time 
I ever saw you" dashed it into the fireplace. 

Being on a visit to his parents about thirty years afterwards, 
Amos Kendall went to meeting in Dunstable on a Sunday, and 
there sat his father in the deacon's seat beneath the pulpit, as in 
former times, and there was a fiddle in the choir ! 

The early education of Amos was in the free schools of Massa- 
chusetts and New Hampshire. The boundary line between these 
States ran through his father's farm, who paid a school tax in 
both States, and had the privilege of sending his children to 
school in both. The summer schools were taught by women, and 
were in general attended only by children who were not old 
enough to assist their parents in their daily labors. They were 
generally kept from two to three months in each summer. The 
winter schools were usually kept by men, and lasted from six 
weeks to two months in each year. They were open to children of 
all ages from infancy to manhood. 



4 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL'. 

These schools were from one to two miles distant from Deacon 
Kendall's, and having five children, of whom Amos was the 
youngest, and one niece to be taught, he hired a female teacher one 
winter and established a school at home. Here Amos won his 
first distinction. He had just begun to read and spell, and had no 
lessons to learn beyond the spelling-book. But he spelled in a 
class with the other children, and the teacher having promised a 
book to the one who should keep longest at the head, the prize was 
awarded to him, the youngest competitor. 

At school he was obedient and studious, excelling in all branches 
except penmanship, in which he seemed to feel little interest. He 
was particularly fond of arithmetic, and by means of sums set by 
his elder brothers, and worked out in evenings by the light of the 
kitchen fire, he became master of the fundamental rules before he 
was allowed to cipher at school. He had just begun to read when 
he heard his father promise his elder brother George, that if he 
would read the Bible through in one year, he would give him a 
new one. He asked his father whether he could have a new one 
on the same condition, and was answered in the affirmative. The 
prize was easily won. 

It was the custom of Deacon Kendall to allow his boys about 
two hours' nooning in the summer. A large portion of this time 
and of the winter evenings Amos devoted to reading, while the other 
boys were at play. There was a small township library in Dun- 
stable, in which his father held two shares, entitling him to take 
out a book on each share and retain it two months. The use of 
one of these shares he gave to Amos, who in a very few years had 
read nearly every book in the library. On one occasion he brought 
home the second volume of Morse's large Geography, when his 
father smilingly asked, " Do you expect to read that through in 
two months ? " Beceiving an affirmative answer, he said, " Well, 
if you do, I will give you a pistareen." This was a Spanish coin 
then in circulation, worth about twenty cents. The pistareen was 
earned and paid. 

This early reading was, perhaps, better remembered than the 
reading of siibsequent years, since almost every sentence of it pre- 
sented some new idea to the impressible and expanding mind. 
The value of it, especially in relation to geography and history, 
was fully appreciated by him in subsequent stages of his educa- 
tion. 



BOYHOOD. 5 

In the free schools Amos had but one competitor for pre-emi- 
nence in spelling. This was a little girl of about his own age, 
named Sally Wright. For two or three years the competition was 
very keen, though Sally took the lead. At spelling-matches, then 
quite common, she was always the first chosen, and Amos Kendall 
was the first on the other side. Owing, however, to the superior 
advantages possessed by the latter, he finally took the lead of his 
fair rival. In this competition there was not a particle of envy 
or ill-will ; on the contrary, the boy admired little Sally Wright 
for her smartness, and thought that when they grew up he would 
ask her to be his wife. Eut the Fates otherwise ordered. Sally 
married a worthless man. It was perhaps thirty years before she 
and her youthful competitor and admirer again met. He was then 
casually passing her residence, which bore all the outward signs of 
poverty, when it occurred to him to call, for the double purpose of 
seeing her once more and ascertaining whether she would recog- 
nize him. He knocked and was told to come in. On entering he 
beheld Sally Wright sitting in a plain but cleanly room, with 
several children around her, all clad in coarse clothing, but as neat 
as a good mother's labor could make them. " Do you not know 
me ? " said he. " No, sir," was her reply. " Do you not recollect 
the boy, Amos Kendall, who used to go to school with you ? " 
She sprang from her chair, and seized his hand, as if he had been 
a long-lost brother. The last he heard of her she was a widow, 
living with a brother. 

So sober and thoughtful was Amos when a little boy, that he 
was generally called " the Deacon." Though often praised for 
his scholarship, he was as diffident and bashful as any girl. This 
peculiarity was, no doubt, natural ; but in after life he attributed it 
chiefly to a singular incident which occurred when he was a little 
boy. 

Though Dunstable was more than thirty miles from the sea, 
tales of money buried in that region by pirates, particularly by 
one Captain Kidd, were current among the population, and 
generally credited. This money was supposed to be in iron pots 
under the special charge of the Devil, who, though he could not 
harm those who might dig for it, would employ all sorts of noises 
and terrifying apparitions to scare them away, and not succeeding, 
would turn the money into something else. In this shift, however, 
his infernal majesty might be baffled by laying upon the trans- 



6 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

muted money a Bible and an open penknife, under the influence 
of which, it would, in the course of a few days, resume its original 
character. 

One of Amos's elder brothers was a full believer in these 
tales, and the boys of the neighborhood entered into a conspiracy 
to test his courage. 

They filled two small iron pots with blacksmith's cinders and 
buried them under a large white pine-tree in the midst of a dense 
wood. One of the boys was then commissioned to notify the 
destined victim that money was buried in that spot, and propose 
that they two should 'go in the night and dig for it. Arrangements 
were made, and in the middle of a dark night, rendered darker by 
the surrounding forests, the boys repaired with lanterns and tools 
to the designated spot, and began operations. They had not pro- 
ceeded far before strange noises were heard in the bushes around 
them : dogs barked, cats mewed, sheep bleated, cows lowed, and 
horses neighed. The diggers came to a big root of the white pine, 
which they began to cut away. The noises redoubled, accompa- 
nied by the blowing of trumpets and other alarming sounds. Under 
the big root they came upon a large black snake lying upon a flat 
stone, which the companion of young Kendall pretended to kill. 
At this stage the noises became terrific : dogs howled, cats yelled, 
cattle bellowed, women screamed, and bang, bang, went guns over 
their heads in the pine-tree and among the surrounding bushes. 
Though his companion pretended to be much terrified, the brave 
boy, who believed it all the work of the Devil, nothing daunted 
hauled out the black snake, and, turning up the stone on which it 
was deposited, came upon the eagerly sought treasure ; but the 
Devil had transmuted the gold and the silver into common 
blacksmith's cinders. As this was not unexpected, the boys 
lugged the pots home and deposited them in young Kendall's 
chamber, placing upon the cinders in each a- Bible and an open 
penknife. There Deacon Kendall found them a few days afterwards 
and pitched them out of the window. 

This incident led Amos to conclude that his father's children 
were not so smart as the neighbors' boys, and, enhancing his 
natural diffidence, produced a bashfulness and reserve which be- 
came habitual and invincible. Only once during boyhood was it 
thoroughly overcome in the presence of strangers. On a public 
occasion a larger boy began to insult and abuse his next older 



BOYHOOD. 7 

brother, when young Amos, highly excited, opened upon and soon 
silenced him. The lookers-on thereupon insisted upon the van- 
quished blackguard's " treating " Amos and his brother, which he 
did, — with Tum-toddy and gingerbread. 

The mind of Amos Kendall always had a mechanical turn. 
When a boy, he constructed in a rude way the machinery of little 
wind and water mills and put them in operation. He thought 
much on means of using the air as a regular motive power, but 
with no result. He invented, however, a pump, on a principle not 
in use in this country, and never, so far as he knew, put into oper- 
ation. His father had a cider-press operated by two large wooden 
screws. It occurred to him that if the threads had a water-tight 
covering, and one end of the screw was immersed at a suitable 
angle in water, and then made to revolve in the right direction, 
the water must necessarily follow the groove and be discharged at 
the top. With a jackknife he cut a groove around a stick of pine 
wood, tied over it a sheepskin, which made it nearly water-tight, 
and, turning it with the hand, one end being immersed in water, 
found it to answer his expectations. 

Years afterwards he learnt that it was an old invention at- 
tributed to Archimedes, and had long been in use in Holland for 
draining marshes. Yet the conception was as original with Amos 
Kendall as it was with the first inventor. 

It was a part of the parental teaching in the Kendall family 
never wantonly to take the life of any creature, snakes excepted. 
Birds and beasts which destroyed the farmers' crops, or were 
valuable for food, or on account of their skins, were fair game for 
his boys. In the neighboring streams and meadows were minks 
and muskrats, which were trapped by them, and the skins sold to 
raise " spending-money." Many an autumn morning Amos left his 
bed before daylight, and, walking or running two or three miles, 
visited his traps, and got home before sunrise. The boys were 
also allowed to cultivate a small patch of tobacco, which they 
manufactured into "pigtail" and sold to the chewers in the 
neighborhood. From these two sources were derived nearly all 
the funds they were able to control. 

The amusements of Deacon Kendall's boys, other than such as 
are common to all youngsters, were fishing, both with the rod and 
spear, and hunting on a small scale. Salmon Brook, which ran 
through their father's farm, was stocked with a great variety of 



8 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

fish, though none of them were large. Fishing with the spear 
was chiefly practised at night. The boys had a skiff, constructed 
by the oldest brother, in the centre of which was raised a jack, 
composed of iron ribs, upon a standard four or five feet high. On 
this were piled pine-knots, which, being set on fire, produced a 
brilliant light. The pickerel sleep in still water near the surface, 
and by careful rowing they may be closely approached. It was a 
beautiful sight to see them lying motionless near the surface of the 
water ; but it was cruel sport to strike them dead in that con- 
dition. 

An incident occurred while the boys were fishing with the rod 
which made a deep impression on the mind of Amos. They were 
joined by some neighboring boys, who suggested that fishes' eyes 
were excellent bait. The experiment was tried, and several fish 
just caught having been ruthlessly deprived of their eyes, the 
sport proceeded with gratifying results. One of the boys put back 
into the stream a sunperch, yet in full life, both of whose eyes 
had thus been extracted. This method of providing bait was new 
to the young Kendalls, but when they gleefully described it to 
their father, he gave them an impressive lecture upon its cruelty, 
and painted so vividly the condition of the poor blind fish returned 
to its native element to starve, that throughout his long life Amos 
Kendall, whenever he thought of it, seemed to see the mutilated 
creature, as he saw it then, making its dark way through the water 
among the bulrushes of Salmon Brook. It was thoughtlessness, and 
not cruelty, which furnished the occasion for this useful lecture. 

The following instance of the motherly affection of a mouse, 
witnessed by Amos Kendall, and the impression it made upon him, 
are not unworthy of record. 

He was passing in the fall through his father's cornfield, when 
he came upon a bundle of cornstalks lying between two rows, 
which had been overlooked when the rest were removed. He 
raised it up, when a mouse ran out of a nest which she had made 
under it. He sprang forward to kill her, when she suddenly 
stopped and turned back. Struck with this singular movement, 
he paused to await the result. The mouse came up to him, appear- 
ing to be perfectly tame. He stooped and put down his hand to 
her, when she crept into it and up his arm in the most confidinc 
manner. On examining the nest, he found it full of young ones. 
It was evident that maternal affection had conquered fear ; and her 



"WINTER AMUSEMENTS. 9 

movements were so much like an appeal for mercy to her offspring, 
that young Kendall gently replaced the bundle of stalks upon the 
nest, and left her to raise her family in peace. 

The day on which the Governor of Massachusetts was inaugu- 
rated was formerly known as " 'Lection Day." It was a holiday for 
the farmers' boys, who spent it in fishing, hunting, or such other 
amusements as they might fancy. It was in the latter part of 
May, a season at which the birds had hatched their young or laid 
their eggs, and the boys of the neighborhood were accustomed to 
have a hunt on that day for blackbirds' eggs, for the birds them- 
selves, for crows and other feathered game. A blackbird's egg 
counted one, a blackbird two, a crow's egg or a young crow five, an 
old crow ten, etc. A meeting was held and sides chosen some 
days before " 'Lection Day," and the woods were scoured for 
crows' nests. If any were found containing young ones, these 
were generally taken home and fed until the day of the hunt, for 
no bird not killed on that day was to be counted. The day was 
chiefly spent in exploring the bog meadows along Salmon Brook 
for blackbirds' eggs, and at first quarts of eggs were collected. In 
the afternoon the parties all came in, and the side which exhibited 
the most game was the victor. The day's amusement was closed 
by threshing eggs. In this game an egg was placed on the ground, 
and the thresher, taking his stand about two rods distant, with a 
large switch in his hand, advanced, with his eyes shut, and made 
a blow at the egg. The only reward of victory in the hunt or the 
game was the pride of success. 

These hunts were encouraged by the farmers of the neighbor- 
hood as means of diminishing the number of mischievous birds, 
and they were eminently successful. 

To that end young Amos contributed in another way. There 
• was a large stake by the side of a causeway through his father's 
meadow, upon the top of which he observed a blackbird almost 
always standing. He set a small steel trap upon the top of this 
stake, and at first caught nearly a dozen birds a day. The sur- 
vivors seemed finally to understand that there was danger at the 
stake, and captures soon became unfrequent. One morning the 
trap was missing, and not a trace of it could be found. Some time 
in the day a flock of crows in the edge of the woods, a few hun- 
dred yards distant, attracted attention by angry screams and violent 
plunges among the bushes. It proved that a large owl was there, 



10 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

with the lost trap hanging by the middle claw of one of his feet. 
He had carried it thus far, and being unable to alight in the trees, 
had fallen upon the ground. He could rise a few feet, but the 
weight of the trap dragged him down again. The owl was easily 
despatched, and thenceforward the trap was fastened. 

One winter, when Amos was about fourteen years old, two or 
three neighboring men, after a deep snow, called at his father's 
to borrow tools for the purpose of digging out a fox which they 
had traced into a burrow in a neighboring wood. His brother 
George and himself accompanied them and witnessed the operation. 
After the next snow-storm they also went fox-hunting. Falling 
upon a track, they followed it to the burrow where the fox had 
sought shelter. With no great labor they opened it, and found 
therein two foxes, which they secured. Thus encouraged, they 
sallied out after the next storm, and soon caught a fox in the same 
way. They then took a wide circuit and came within a quarter 
of a mile from home, when they saw a fox at a distance wallowing 
through the snow, and gave chase. He, however, showed no dis- 
position to burrow, but led them on a run about a mile and a 
half directly from home, when it becoming dark they gave up 
the pursuit. The snow was nearly knee-deep, and they were much 
heated and fatigued by the race. After stopping at a neighbor's 
and procuring a drink of cider they made towards home; but Amos 
complained of weariness in his limbs, which increased as he pro- 
gressed, so that within half a mile of his father's house he gave 
out. He remembered having heard his grandfather speak of 
sleeping comfortably under the snow when out on a hunt, and 
proposed to his brother to cover him with the same bedding and go 
home for a horse. After attempting in vain to assist him to walk, 
his brother accordingly removed the snow with his feet, when Amos 
Md down on the ground, and, with the fox-skin over his face, 
was covered with several inches of snow. He fell asleep instantly 
and had a pleasant nap. Waking, he felt perfectly well, and 
thought he could walk home ; but on getting up and making the 
attempt he found it impossible. The sinews of his legs seemed 
entirely unstrung, and he had no control over them. It was now 
night ; but he was soon relieved by seeing his brother approach- 
ing through the darkness with a horse. Aided by his brother 
he mounted and rode home, but after his arrival could not walk 
without assistance. He felt entirely well, however, ate his supper 



FABM WORK. H 

as usual, was assisted to bed, and the next morning was as strong 
as ever. But this was the last of Amos's fox-hunting. 

For some three years, after Amos was eleven years old, he 
lived with his grandfather, who occupied a house about twenty 
rods from his father's. His duties were to cut the wood, make the 
fires, look after a few cattle, and do whatever jobs and errands his 
grandfather and grandmother might require of him. During this 
period, however, he labored with his brothers on his father's farm 
the most of the day, doing the " chores " at his grandfather's in 
the mornings and evenings. 

During the year 1803 and 1804 nearly all the labors of the farm 
fell upon Amos and his brother George, who was nearly two years 
his senior, his elder brother having left home, and his father being 
disabled by rheumatism. 

At this time he could do a man's work at mowing, reap- 
ing, chopping, and any other kind of ordinary farm labor. But 
the demands of the farm were so incessant and engrossing that he 
was unable to go to school more than two or three weeks in each 
of those years. 

Deacon Kendall had become desirous to give his son Amos a 
liberal education ; but his own means were not equal to such an 
expenditure. He, however, told his son that if he was disposed to 
go to college, and fit himself for a professional life, he would aid 
him to the extent of his ability. Having no predilection for any 
profession, and knowing that his life must be one of toil, Amos 
would have been content to be a farmer ; but his love of knowl- 
edge induced him to avail himself of his father's kind offer. 

His first object was to fit himself with all possible economy for 
teaching school, in order that he might, by his own earnings, eke 
out his father's scanty allowance. He had already made good 
progress in arithmetic and English grammar, when in the fall of 
1804 his father closed a bargain with the preacher of the parish, 
according to which Amos was to live with the preacher during the 
winter, cut his fire-wood, take care of his horse and cattle, etc., and 
in return should receive instruction in the above-named branches. 
This turned out to be a most disagreeable and unprofitable 
arrangement. The preacher was morose, indolent, and thoroughly 
selfish. His sole study seemed to be to receive from Amos as 
much labor, and give in return as little instruction as possible. 
Much of the labor required of the boy was utterly unprofitable : 



12 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

he was made to shovel paths from the house to the barn while snow 
was falling rapidly, filling them as fast as they were cleared. 

But this was not all ; the housework of the family was done by an 
orphan girl about Amos's own age, who had been intrusted to the 
care of the preacher's wife by her dying father. She was remark- 
ably kind and amiable in her disposition, and, as far as he could 
judge, inoffensive in her conversation. Yet, upon the allegation 
that she had told falsehoods about family affairs to some of the 
neighbors, she was prohibited from visiting or speaking to any one 
out of the family, or holding any conversation with visitors ex- 
cept in the presence of the preacher or of his wife or his wife's 
mother. For the most trivial things she was incessantly scolded, 
and sometimes threatened even with horsewhipping. Amos sin- 
cerely pitied the girl, while he learned to hate and despise her 
tyrants, and he became the bearer of correspondence between her 
and her old associates in the outer world. 

He was himself thoroughly homesick; but he was afraid to 
complain to his father, who was one of the deacons of the church, 
and appeared to have perfect confidence in his pastor. He there- 
fore made the best of his uncomfortable situation, and endured it 
until he was called home in the spring of 1805. 

Some time in the next summer his father asked him whether, 
while at the preacher's, he had been the bearer of any letters to his 
housemaid from the neighboring girls. He replied that he had ; 
and not waiting for reproof, if any was intended, proceeded to tell 
his father how the girl was treated, and added that he had carried 
the letter in pure compassion, and would do the same again under 
like circumstances. His father was silent, but afterwards asked his 
son whether he would like to live with the preacher again the next 
winter. To this the son replied, that, if kept at work all day and 
furnished with a light at night, he could learn more at home than 
he could at the preacher's. The subject was never mentioned again. 

Up to that time Amos looked upon preachers as almost perfect 
men, possessed of all those virtues and graces which belong to the 
Christian character, according to the New Testament, but he now 
found that they were no better than their neighbors. 

In the fall of 1805 he became for about eleven weeks a pupil 
in the academy at New Ipswich, N. H. He boarded at the house 
of his brother Samuel, who lived a mile and a half from the 
academy, went thither to dinner every day, and paid for his board 



ENTERS THE ACADEMY. 13 

by work on his brother's farm evening and morning. The expense 
to his father was twenty cents a week for tuition, and about six 
dollars in all for books. 

This may be considered Amos Kendall's first entrance upon the 
theatre of the great world, and the opening scenes were by no 
means agreeable to him. Having been raised, thus far, among 
plain farmers, he had little knowledge of human nature, and none 
of the habits and humors of the more cultivated classes of society 
Conscious of his own deficiencies, he looked upon every one as his 
superior, and was confused at the slightest incident or remark which 
could be construed as a disparaging reference to himself. Noting his 
sensitiveness, some of the boys took pleasure in annoying him by 
criticisms on his person and manners, against which his diffidence 
rendered him entirely defenceless. The discomforts of his situa- 
tion were aggravated by the injudicious, or it may have been 
wanton, conduct of his preceptor. Before he had a chance to wit- 
ness the performances of the other pupils, he was required to speak 
a piece of his own sele^on before the school. Eeceiving no 
instruction as to the l^^^^^character of the piece suited to the 
occasion, he committ^^^^fcmory an oration, which occupied 
seven octavo pages in EraBrol-book then in use, called " Webster's 
Third Part." 

At the time of the performance he took his position, fixed his 
eyes upon the other side of the room, and repeated the whole 
oration, without moving hand or foot. His preceptor — who ought 
to have perceived, if he did not, that the selection of such a piece 
and the awkward performance were the result of ignorance and 
bashfulness, which demanded from a just and judicious teacher 
commiseration and encouragement — ridiculed him unmercifully, 
comparing him to an immovable hydrant pouring forth its steady 
stream of water. He carried his ridicule so far, that resentment 
took the place of mortification in the bosom of the young orator, 
and he resolved to show his persecutors that he could overcome 
the difficulties under which he labored. 

The next winter he spent at home, except one month, during 
which he attended a free school in New Ipswich. His time at 
home was spent in labor, in reading, and in practising declama- 
tion. He committed to memory several pieces, and spoke them 
before a glass, studying, emphasis and gesticulation, — performing 
himself the office of critic and instructor. 



14 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

On the 15th of April, 1806, he resumed his studies at New 
Ipswich Academy, boarding at his brother's, and paying for his 
board by manual labor, morning and evening, as in the preceding 
season. The only addition to his expenses was the price of a din- 
ner in the village, at twenty cents per day, during the hot summer 
weather. 

Soon after his return to New Ipswich he was again called upon 
for an exercise in declamation. He selected one of the pieces he 
had practised during the preceding winter, and spoke it -with a 
good degree of self-possession, and with appropriate action. His 
preceptor commended his performance, and his fellow-students 
said, " You have greatly improved since last year ; where have you 
been to school ? " They seemed more surprised when assured that 
he had not been to school at all. He soon became distinguished in 
his other exercises ; ridicule was succeeded by respect ; and before 
the season closed he had the sweet revenge of aiding in their les- 
sons some of those who were most forward in ridiculing him on 
his first appearance at the academy. ^BBKng all this time, how- 
ever, though he wrote several pieces A Position, he could not 
be induced, by fear of any conseqi^^^Mo read one of them 
before the school, — simply because of^ffirr want of merit, in his 
own estimation. 

During haying-time, this summer, Amos left school to aid his 
brother on his farm, and spent two weeks in the severe labor of 
mowing. To him it was unusually severe, on account of his recent 
sedentary life. 

In the fall of 1806 his studies were brought to a close by 
the unexpected disappearance of the preceptor of New Ipswich 
Academy. After remaining there a short time he returned to his 
father's house. He worked on the farm during most of the fall, 
but in December attended a free school, a few days, in the neigh- 
borhood. 

Being now sufficiently advanced to become a teacher in the New 
England free schools, though but sixteen years of age, his father 
engaged a school for him, for two months, in the Lobb's Pond Dis- 
trict, in Eeading, Mass., at thirteen dollars per month and board. 
After closing his school in Eeading he taught another for five 
weeks, on the same terms, in Dunstable, now Nashua, N. H. He 
was popular as a teacher, and was invited to teach both of these 
schools the next winter. 



EXTERS COLLEGE. 15 

In April, 1807, he became a student in the academy at Groton, 
Mass., then, and for many years afterwards, under the charge of 
Caleb Butler. There he paid for his board, at one dollar and fifty 
cents per week, with the money obtained by teaching the preced- 
ing winter ; but close application to study, and neglect of physical 
exercise, impaired his health, never very robust, and it gave way to 
such an extent that he was compelled to return home and recruit 
his strength by hunting and moderate labor. On his return to the 
academy, after a fortnight thus spent, he adopted a regular system 
of exercise, walking and running, early in the morning and in the 
evening. 

By the end of summer he had finished his preparation for col- 
lege, and on the 10th of September, after examination and pay- 
ment of four dollars as entrance-fee, was admitted as a member of 
the Freshman class, at Dartmouth College, by Professor Hubbard, 
who was on a visit to Groton. There were admitted, at the same 
time, Benjamin Prescott, Thomas C. Gardner, Moses Whitney, 
Josiah Danforth, Daniel Bockwood to the Freshman class, and 
Boyal Bullard to the S&Bbomore class. The morning of the day 
was one of hope and fe*aJi\; the evening, one of congratulation and 
rejoicing. 

His academic life, in fitting for college, was forty-seven weeks ; 
twenty-eight in New Ipswich, and nineteen in Groton. The ex- 
pense of this preparatory course, exclusive of books, was eighty- 
five dollars and thirty-nine cents, of which forty-two dollars and 
twenty-five cents was earned by him in teaching school. The 
actual cost to his father, therefore, was forty-two dollars and 
eighty-four cents. 

Having no means of paying the expenses of the fall term at 
college, Amos pursued the studies of the class at home; at the 
same time participating, to a moderate degree, in the labors of the 
farm. 

In September he visited his friends in Beading, where he was 
treated with the utmost kindness, and was strenuously urged to 
take charge of their school the next winter. This he declined 
to do, hoping to secure a larger school with higher wages. 

Through his father, agreements were made that he should 
teach the schools of the two adjoining districts in Dunstable, now 
Nashua, N. H. One of them was the same which he had taught the 
preceding winter. His wages were to be the same, thirteen dollars 



16 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

per month, and board, with the addition of one dollar should he go 
home, a distance of about a mile and a half, on Saturday evening, 
and return on Monday morning. The engagement was for four 
weeks only ; but by vote of a meeting of the district the school 
was continued a week longer. In consequence of this extension 
he lost the other engagement, but was soon employed to take charge 
of a school in his native town. 

The custom, in many of the school districts in New England 
then, was to let out the board of the schoolmaster to the lowest 
bidder. It was the fortune of the master, in this case, to be bid off 
by a plain farmer, living more than a mile from the school-house 
in a direct line, and nearly two by an indifferent road. The food 
at this man's table was wholesome, but coarse, consisting almost 
entirely of rye-bread, salt beef and pork, with potatoes and cabbages, 
morning, noon, and night, varied only by various admixtures and 
variable cookery. The house was full of air-holes, and the fuel, 
green oak sticks. After wading through the snow several miles, to 
and from the school-house, young Kendall might be seen, late in 
the evening, sitting with his books on a table, — turning first one 
side and then the other to a fire which seemed itself to be freezing, 
with no sound around him but the wintry wind, — pursuing, by the 
light of a tallow-candle, the studies of his class in college. He 
found comfort, however, in an excellent feather-bed, furnished 
with an ample supply of home-made blankets and coverlets. 

While Amos was teaching in this district the young people of 
Dunstable proposed getting up a sleigh-ride and ball, and he deter- 
mined to join the party. There had been no snow for many days, 
and the roads were in beautiful condition. On the appointed 
morning the sky was overcast with ominous clouds, and by the 
time the company had collected it began to snow very gently. 
There were twenty-two sleighs, each containing a young man and 
his lady-companion. His was a farmer's daughter, of precisely his 
own age, having been born on the same day. The ride was to be 
from the rendezvous in Dunstable to a tavern in Chelmsford, about 
seven miles, where a ball was to be given at night. The snow fell 
faster and faster, and before they reached Chelmsford the wind be- 
gan to blow from the northeast. During their stay there it in- 
creased to a gale, and the whole atmosphere appeared to be a mass 
of furiously driving snow. Their course in returning, for about 
three miles, was nearly north, along the banks of the Merrimack 



SLEIGH-EIDING. 17 

Eiver, the snow driving obliquely into their faces. It was impos- 
sible for the drivers to see their , horses, except in glimpses, and 
they went helter-skelter in utter confusion, like a fleet of un- 
manageable shallops driven before the wind. It became intensely 
cold, and fingers, toes, ears, and cheeks were frozen. Umbrellas 
were no protection, and some were blown away. Kendall suffered 
none of these calamities, his right ear being protected by a sheet 
of ice. The snow blown among his hair, under the rim of his 
hat, melted there, and then running down from the hair, froze, and 
formed dangling icicles over the ear. At first he brushed them 
off as they formed, but finding that they did not adhere to the ear, 
which was not even cold, he suffered them to form anew, until 
they became a sheet of ice, constituting an effectual protection 
against the piercing wind. 

The party all reached the rendezvous in scattered order, and 
though many casualties were recounted, none of them were very 
serious. Indeed, the disasters of the day added zest to the enjoy- 
ment of the night, and the merry dance was kept up for many 
hours with unflagging spirit. About midnight the storm abated, 
and a party went out to inspect the condition of the roads, which 
passed, almost uniformly, between stone fences. They reported 
them to be filled with driven snow to the tops of the fences, and 
wholly impassable. Of course the entire party, except three or 
four whose residences were just at hand, had to remain not only 
all night, but until the roads were broken out the next day. 
There being no beds for them, when tired of dancing they slept in 
chairs, or, gathering together in little clusters, amused each other 
as best they could. 

Breaking the roads, after a violent snow-storm, is a sort of holi- 
day sport in New England. The farmers with their boys and hired 
men, with their oxen and sleds, and with shovels of all sorts, from 
the capacious cider-mill shovel down to the common spade, turn 
out and make their way to the neighbors in every direction. 
Where drifts are so deep and solid that oxen and horses cannot get 
through, the snow is shovelled out until the road is made passable. 
Many a merry greeting between neighbors, as they meet, takes 
place on these occasions, ratified before extreme temperance days 
by a mug of flip. Flip is a very agreeable beverage, composed of 
sweetened beer put into a foam by the injection of a red-hot poker, 
or its equivalent, and finished by an infusion of rum. 
2 



18 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

It was but half a mile to the residence of Amos's lady-compan- 
ion ; yet it was not until eleven o'clock, the day after the ride, that 
he delivered her at her father's house, having made his way over 
fences and across fields. He had then over four miles to go to 
reach his lodgings, on about three of which the roads were broken 
out. On a part of the remaining distance the snow was drifted in 
so deep and hard that he was obliged to break the surface by 
stamping, before his horse could make his way through it, and the 
sun was setting when he reached the end of his journey. 

There was much extreme poverty in this district, and some of 
the children could not attend school for want of shoes and decent 
clothing. Among the scholars was one negro-girl, who was enti- 
tled to all the privileges of the other children ; but as public opin- 
ion would not allow her to be classed with the whites, she sat 
apart, and was taught by herself. 

On the 19th January, 1808, Amos began to teach in his native 
town, and on the 10th February finished his engagement, which 
was not marked by any noteworthy events. 

An occurrence happened in a neighboring school, however, illus- 
trative of the troubles to which Yankee pedagogues are sometimes 
exposed. The master whipped one of his male pupils quite 
severely, though probably not more severely than the offence war- 
ranted. The boy was the pet of one of those fathers who can 
never be convinced that their children are in the wrong. A con- 
spiracy was formed to seize the master, and ride him from the school- 
house to his lodgings on a rail. The plot coming to the knowledge 
of young Kendall, he disclosed and defeated it. The outraged 
father then sued the master and held him to bail. The affair was 
subsequently disposed of by arbitration, which virtually justified 
the master and threw the costs upon the plaintiff. One of the 
arbitrators was Deacon Kendall, who was used to tell his own 
children that if they misbehaved at school, and being punished for 
it, came to him with complaints, he would punish them again. 

On the 25th of March Amos took passage at Amherst, N". H., in 
the stage, for Dartmouth College. This was his first travel by stage- 
coach. The hill country between the Merrimack and Connecticut 
rivers was still covered with snow, which had almost entirely dis- 
appeared from the lowlands. The road over the hills having been 
much travelled after the last snow-storm, was worn into cradle- 
holes. These are formed as follows. In every path of trodden 



PERILS OF STAGE-RIDING. 19 

snow there are slight inequalities ; the sleigh-runners in passing 
over these first acquire an upward tendency, and then, pitching 
suddenly down, dash up the snow and form another ridge, over 
which they pass and pitch in the same manner and with the same 
effect. Much-travelled roads, when the intervals between snow- 
storms are considerable, thus become a series of little ridges and 
hollows, over which the sleighs rise and fall like boats on the 
waves of the sea. Such was the condition of the road travelled 
by Amos on the 26th of March. The motion of the stage, then 
placed on runners, made him very sick. 

Being transferred to a wheeled carriage near Connecticut Eiver, 
he was much better on arrival at Windsor, Vt., about 4 P. M. ; but 
he had no appetite for dinner, and immediately took the stage for 
the college, about eighteen miles distant. Here he met the young 
man with whom he had agreed to chum, and they went on together. 
The driver was a wild, drinking young fellow, careless and reckless, 
singing vulgar songs and shouting at passers-by. A cart appeared 
ahead attended by several persons, — some in the cart, some on 
horseback, and some on foot, — on whom the driver exercised his 
peculiar talent. As the stage drew alongside the cart the body of 
a drowned man was seen in it. The driver ejaculated, " I am very 
sorry," and was silent for a moment ; but it was only for a mo- 
ment ; he soon burst out with a vulgar song. Owing to his fre- 
quent and long stops at taverns, his condition was becoming per- 
ceptibly worse. By collision with a cart he broke some portion of 
his running-gear, rendering it unsafe to ride down the steep hills, 
which were frequent. About 11 p. M., within three miles of 
the college, on a level plain, where there was a sled-track in 
the snow, which still appeared alongside of the carriage-track, the 
driver, too stupefied to recollect that his carriage-wheels were far- 
ther apart than the runners of a sled, wheeled suddenly into the 
sled-track, and the next moment, striking a stump, over went 
the stage. Slight bruises were the only injuries received by the 
passengers ; but their strength, added to that of the driver, was 
not sufficient to right the stage, which was only effected after about 
an hour's delay, with the help of some of the neighbors, who had 
been called from their beds. It was then discovered that the 
vehicle, before badly damaged, was entirely disabled, and must be 
abandoned. The driver, now somewhat sobered, borrowed saddles, 
and placed his passengers on two of the horses, with their trunks 



20 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

before them, and mounting the third with a bag of corn under 
him, started for the college, driving the fourth horse before him. 
They had gone but a few rods when his bag of corn became un- 
tied, emptying half its contents on the ground. Of course they 
must stop until he could gather up his grain. Again under way, 
his loose horse trotted off, upon a sled-path, into the woods, and it 
took half an hour to get him back. What with these incidents 
and slow travelling on a muddy road, it was near 2 A. M. when 
they reached the college. Having eaten nothing since breakfast 
the preceding day, Kendall was so exhausted and sick that he 
could take no supper, and went immediately to bed. 

The next morning, Sunday, he rose about 10 A. M. in tolerable 
condition. The next day he was examined, re-entered his class, 
entered Commons for board at $1.50 per week, and became the 
occupant of a room with Thomas C. Gardner as his chum. On 
the 30th of March, 1808, he made his first recitation in college. 

There were several societies at that time in Dartmouth College, 
two of which — the Social Friends, having about one hundred resi- 
dent members, and the United Fraternity, with about two thirds 
of that number — embraced nearly all the students. On the 13th 
of April Amos became a member of the Social Friends. 

During his preparation for college he had written several pieces 
of composition when that exercise was required, but could not be 
induced to read one of them in public, on account of their obvious 
imperfection, both in style and substance, according to his own 
taste. Knowing that no excuse was likely to be taken in college, 
he had, while keeping school, elaborated several pieces with all the 
thought and care which he could command. When called upon 
to read a piece of original composition in the class, he selected 
one of these ; but so little confidence had he in its merits and 
in himself, that he had to lean against the wall of the room, and 
bring his elbows back against it, to enable him to hold the paper 
still enough to be read. His tutor praised the piece ; his class- 
mates said, " You must have practised much at composition," and 
were greatly surprised when told it was the first piece he had ever 
read in public. This success gave him considerable confidence ; but 
never during his college life, and scarcely ever since, has he writ- 
ten an article which he did not think could be improved. 

Many circumstances conspired to render his first term in college 
far from agreeable. His chum had been in college the preceding 



FOWL PLAY. 21 

fall term, and had formed his associations. He belonged to a club 
which spent part of the night in robbing hen-roosts, and cook- 
ing and eating the stolen poultry. They visited alternately the 
rooms of the members, each of whom in turn furnished table-fur- 
niture, salt, pepper, butter, and bread. 

It was not long before his chum brought in his companions late 
at night, with a couple of stolen chickens which they proceeded 
to dress and cook. They insisted on his getting up and partak- 
ing of their cheer, and he reluctantly complied. On reflection, 
however, he made up his mind not to repeat this piece of com- 
plaisance, and to put a stop to the use of his room for such pur- 
poses. 

Accordingly, the next time they came in with their game he 
declined getting up, without assigning any reason other than that 
he was not hungry and was very sleepy. When their poultry was 
cooked and on the table, they again invited him to get up, and, 
when he declined, began to pull the bedclothes off. This excited 
him, and he peremptorily demanded to be let alone, adding that if 
such habits suited them they did not suit him, and he begged not 
to be further molested then or thereafter. They dropped the bed- 
clothes, ate their poultry in silence, and never came to the room 
again while he occupied it. 

On another occasion, a party having procured a hand-cart, with 
ropes to haul by, proposed to supply each other with fuel from a 
pile of wood, cut and split for the fire, and deposited about half 
a mile from the college. Late one evening they called upon him 
and Gardner to join them. Gardner went, but Kendall declined. 
One of the party lingered behind, after the rest had gone, and in- 
quired why he would not go ? He answered, " If we were at home, 
and went to a neighbor's wood-pile in the night to supply our- 
selves with wood, we would feel like thieves, would we not ? I 
do not perceive the difference." " You are right," the young man 
replied. "They have got me into this scrape, and I must go 
through with it ; but they will not catch me in another." 

Mr. Kendall, while teaching school, indulged in the common 
amusement of playing cards, and was familiar with a number of 
games. Though card-playing was prohibited at Dartmouth College, 
he was invited one evening into a room in the same building with 
his own, occupied by students of a higher class, and was induced by 
them to play for money, at a few cents a game. They played at 



22 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

loo until daylight the next morning, and when they quit, the bal- 
ance of winnings and losses was about three dollars in Kendall's 
favor. He had felt an excited interest in the game, and therefore 
came to a firm resolution never again to play for money. Only 
once in after life was this resolution broken. On the 4th of 
July, 1814, a newly-made friend invited him to a picnic celebra- 
tion of the day, near Lexington in Kentucky. There were several 
card- tables on the ground, and two of his companion's friends pro- 
posed that they should play a game of whist for their dinners. He 
plead his want of practice, when his friend insisted, and proposed 
to be his partner. They won the dinner, when the other side pro- 
posed to play on at a quarter each game. Having won the dinner, 
Kendall felt that he could not decline, and, contrary to his wish, 
continued to win. As in college, so here, he was in the end winner 
to a small amount ; and having again felt an interest in the game, 
he renewed his resolution with more determination than before, 
and never after swerved from it. There is no difficulty in avoid- 
ing, without reproach, playing for money, if one will make it a 
a matter of principle, and so declare whenever invited to play. 

On finishing the study of Homer, it was customary to sacrifice a 
copy of the book to the manes of the author ; and the Freshman 
class, or some of them, determined to maintain the usage. A small 
altar of stones was erected in one of the college rooms, capped by 
a tin basin, into which was poured a quantity of rum. A copy of 
Homer was laid on the floor open at about the middle. The rum 
was set on fire, and the students marching around the altar stamp- 
ed as they passed on the open book, uttering various ejaculations 
not at all complimentary to the ancient bard. As the leaves were 
broken loose from the doomed book, they were placed upon the 
altar and consumed in the blue flames of the burning rum. As in 
similar cases, a portion of the sacrifice went to the officiating priests, 
who became very noisy, locked the door and appointed a door- 
keeper, declaring that no one should leave the room. Finding that 
affairs were taking a turn not at all to his taste, Kendall desired 
to be let out, but it was not until he had peremptorily declared that 
he would not remain, that the door.was opened. 

On the 9th of June there was a serious riot in town. The vil- 
lagers suffered their cows to remain on the common in front of 
the college during the night, where they were a great nuisance. 
Under the main college building there was a large unused cellar, 



THE BATTLE OF THE COWS. 23 

easily accessible from without. In the night the cows, about 
twenty in number, were collected and driven into the cellar, and the 
entrance barricaded. In the morning, the owners coming for their 
cows, were told that they could not have them until they agreed to 
yard them during the night. In consequence of this refusal, excite- 
ment began to run high ; an attack on the college was apprehend- 
ed, and the students prepared to defend their prisoners. One of 
them, named Darling, picked up a boy who was very abusive and 
put him over a fence in the rear of the college. A short time 
after, the father of the lad, named Baldwin, approached with stones 
in his hands and dashed one of them through a window in the 
college building. A general rush was the consequence, and in an 
instant the villagers were flying before a shower of stones and brick- 
bats. It was not long before a constable appeared and arrested 
Darling for assault and battery upon the boy. A crowd followed 
him into the presence of the magistrate who was to try him. Of 
the assault there was no question ; but it was proved that the 
boy was very insulting and was not injured. The magistrate an- 
nounced his decision to be a fine of two dollars. There were sev- 
eral hisses mingled with cries of "Appeal ! " "Appeal ! " The mag- 
istrate told the constable to arrest those who insulted the court ; 
the constable replied, " I cannot distinguish them." The students 
then left the room, formed a procession, marched yelling by the 
complainant's house, and some of them threw stones at it. The 
cattle were released in the evening ; but this was not the end of 
the affair, as far as Baldwin was concerned. 

He kept a horse in a neighboring pasture. One morning the horse 
had changed his color, and the words " Two dollars " appeared in 
large letters on each of his sides. Baldwin was a goldsmith, and 
had a large bow-window in his shop, against which hung many 
watches. First his sign was stolen ; then a large stone was dashed 
against his bow- window, scattering the watches all over his shop, 
and doing some of them serious injury. 

About one hundred and thirty dollars had been subscribed by 
the students to enable Darling to prosecute his appeal, but both 
parties became anxious for a compromise, and it was finally effected. 
In this affair Kendall sympathized with the object of the students, 
and was one of those who attended DarHng's trial and formed the 
procession ; but he had nothing to do with shutting up the cows, 
and disapproved of the outrages committed upon Baldwin. 



24 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

Another affair, more ridiculous in its origin, but more serious in 
its termination, soon after agitated the little community of Dart- 
mouth College. Two of Kendall's classmates, Benjamin Prescott 
and John H. Slack, were bantering each other, at first in frolic, when 
Slack, becoming excited, said he would not take a banter. There- 
upon Prescott challenged him to a fight with pistols on the morn- 
ing of the 4th of July, at an hour and place which he named. 
Slack consulted some of his classmates, who told him his honor 
was concerned, and he must fight. On the evening of the 3d of 
July Slack invited Kendall to his room, and asked his advice. 
He was advised to see Prescott, in company with others, and 
bring about an explanation. This he declined, but was persuaded 
to write. Kendall and two others then went with the letter 
to Prescott's room, where they found him with his second. He 
declared that there must be a fight, and instructed his second to 
answer Slack that he expected to meet him the next morning at 
the hour and place appointed. He acted his part so well, that 
Kendall began to doubt whether he was not in earnest, and taking 
him aside asked him what he meant. He said he meant to test 
Slack's courage, but that nobody would be hurt. Having arrived 
at the true state of the case, Kendall returned to his room, not 
unwilling to see the game played out. 

The next morning Prescott and Slack were summoned before the 
faculty, and Kendall and others called up as witnesses. Though 
it was proved that, so far as Prescott was concerned, the whole 
affair was a joke, the faculty sentenced both parties to six months' 
rustication, — Prescott, because he would not say that he thought 
duelling in all cases wrong, and Slack, because — though he thought 
it in all cases wrong — he would not say that he would in all cases 
refuse to fight. Prescott's second was condemned to read a public 
confession as a punishment for the part he had taken in the joke. 

There was little sympathy for Slack, but much for Prescott. 
The three higher classes sent in a petition for a remission of the 
penalty ; the Freshman class was divided, a part signing the peti- 
tion and a part sending in a remonstrance. The result of this 
division in the class was much bitter feeling. It happened that 
Kendall was absent when these papers were drawn up and pre- 
sented. On his return he found that both parties counted on his 
adhesion, but he sided with neither, because he considered petition- 
ing useless and remonstrance unnecessary. 



UNWISE POLICY. 25 

The justice of Prescott's punishment, however, as well as the 
expediency of Slack's, is very questionable. In effect, one was 
punished for not belying his opinions, and the other for admitting 
that he might be impelled by circumstances to do a wrong act. 
The plain duty of the teachers having charge of these young men 
was to reprimand their folly, and endeavor to instil better princi- 
ples into the one and more correct views of moral duty into the 
other. 

Prescott never returned to Dartmouth College ; Slack returned 
and graduated with the class. 



26 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 



CHAPTER II. 

The most interesting association formed by Mr. Kendall in col- 
lege, resulted from his membership in a private club for mutual 
improvement, which had been organized in the autumn of 1807, 
and was unknown to him until he was invited to join it. It was 
composed exclusively of members of his class, not more than a 
dozen in all ; it had no constitution or regulations, no officers, the 
members presiding in alphabetical order, and meeting weekly at 
their own rooms. Its exercises were composition, declamation, and 
forensic discussion ; all participating in each, not by appointment, 
but in alphabetical order. It was the duty of all to observe and 
criticise the performances of each, and this function was uniformly 
exercised in a kindly spirit. Care was taken to invite none into 
the club who were not of irreproachable moral character and sin- 
cerely desirous of self-improvement. Though no injunction of 
secrecy was imposed on members, the understanding was that they 
should not speak of their club to outsiders, and its existence was 
apparently unknown out of their own circle during their whole 
college life. Never was a club more orderly, though without rules 
of order, and never were the objects of an association more steadily 
and faithfully pursued. It is with an affectionate remembrance 
that their names are here recorded : namely, Joseph Perry, 
Jonathan Curtis, Daniel Poor, Jonathan Fowle, Nathaniel H. 
Carter, Eobert Crowell, Theophilus Wilson, Joseph Bailey, David 
Pierce, Daniel Eockwood, William Cogswell, Samuel Woodbury, 
and Caleb Chase. 

In July of this year Kendall made a visit, in company with his 
classmate, Daniel Eockwood, to Windsor, Vt., West Parish, where 
lived .a Mr. Cummings who married a sister of his father. They 
desired to ascend Ascutney Mountain, about three miles distant, 
and two young men, his cousins, consented to accompany them. 
The cousins proposed that the party should ride on horseback to 
the mountain, and up as far as practicable ; but being full of life 



A MOUNTAIN" ADVENTUKE. 27 

and confidence the young students declined their offer. With a 
lunch and a bottle of rum, they started on foot early in the morn- 
ing. The day was exceedingly warm, but they went forward with 
much spirit, though frequently checked by the cousins, until they 
were about half-way up the mountain, when they began to feel the 
effect of the heat and rapid walking. Eesort was had to the rum- 
bottle to recruit their wasted strength. Around the top of the 
mountain the trees had been killed by fires, and decaying trunks 
had fallen across each • other in every conceivable direction. 
Among them was a luxuriant growth of tall weeds. Bising above 
the whole, on the very summit, was a large rock. Up this they 
climbed, and were rewarded by one of the finest views in nature. 
On the west was the Green Mountain range ; on the east were the 
mountains of New Hampshire ; to the southward and northward 
the Connecticut Eiver valley on both sides was skirted by a mag- 
nificent hill-country dotted with improvements. The river itself 
washing the foot of the mountain, and meandering through a 
narrow plain which formed the bottom of the valley, exhibited 
its silvery waters in many windings, like a succession of small 
lakes, giving a finish to the enchanting landscape. The isolated 
mountain on which they stood seemed like a tower raised in the 
midst of this magnificent scenery, merely to enable man to enjoy 
its beauties. 

But alas ! scarcely had the eye taken a general view of the scene, 
when a duskiness, like approaching night, seemed to be creeping 
over it. The cool air of the mountain-top, combined with the re- 
action of the unusual stimulant they had swallowed, closed the 
pores of the body and brought on a drowsiness which was perfect- 
ly overpowering. The young students, descending from the rock, 
made pallets of weeds, and had scarcely lain down upon them before 
they were fast asleep. The sun was low in the west when the 
cousins awoke them, saying it was time to go. On rising Kendall's 
sinews seemed to be unstrung, and his limbs refused to obey his will. 
He told his cousins that he was utterly unable to walk, and begged 
them to form the best shelter they could of the dead limbs and 
weeds, and leave him there until the next morning. They said he 
could go, and should ; and taking him by the arms forced him for- 
ward. Becoming excited, he broke from them and ran some dis- 
tance over logs and rocks with perfect recklessness, not caring 
whether he broke his neck or not. Becoming warm with exercise, 



28 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

his indecision left him, and he kept on by himself, taking a ravine 
which led in the direction of his uncle's. Whether it had ever 
been explored before he knew not. Certain it is, that in some 
places it was flanked by solid rocks of great height which it was 
impossible to scale ; its bottom was, in storms, the bed of a moun- 
tain torrent, and could be descended only by leaping from cliff to 
cliff, where a slip or false step would have plunged the leaper head- 
long among ragged rocks many feet below. Once he came to a 
huge rock, perhaps twenty feet high, which had fallen in from above 
and completely filled the channel. He could neither get around 
it nor over it, and there it seemed as if his journey would be ended 
for the night, and perhaps forever. Finally he discovered a hole 
under it, through which he crawled and reached the light of day 
on the lower side. At length he found himself at the mouth of 
the ravine, where there was a small house on a tract of land formed 
by the wash from the mountain. Entering, he found a young 
woman spinning, and telling her he was almost dead with fatigue, 
he begged leave to lie down on the bed in the same room. She 
consented, and he fell asleep immediately. 

After perhaps half an hour he awoke, and going to the door saw 
Eockwood approaching, supported by the two young men, pale and 
bloody. It appeared that when Kendall broke loose upon the 
mountain, they supposed that he intended to hide and remain all 
night, and one of them followed until satisfied that such was not 
his purpose. He then returned to Eockwood, and they kept on 
down the same rayine. But Eockwood's nose began to bleed, and 
he gave out entirely, so that they had to carry him a considerable 
distance. As the cool of the evening came on he revived some- 
what and became able to walk, supported on both sides. He was 
so exhausted it was deemed best to leave him in the farmer's cot- 
tage till the next day. Kendall, however, had so far recovered 
his strength as to be able to return home with his cousins. After 
a day's rest the young students returned to the college, satisfied 
that it is often bad policy in a hot day to walk six miles when one 
can ride four of them, and that rum is not always the safest res- 
torative of exhausted strength. 

On a subsequent visit to Windsor, with the same companion, 
they again visited Ascutney, but with a different object. One 
of the cousins claimed to be one of those fortunate mortals in 
whose hands the divining-rod would indicate unerringly the loca- 



ORE-HUNTING. 29 

tion of valuable metals. He had a set of rods, composed of two 
hazel-bushes, of about eighteen inches long, flattened and tied to- 
gether at the butts, around which was a small bulb composed of some 
unknown substance covered with leather. The operator held the 
small ends of the rods — one in each hand, back downwards — about 
a foot apart. The theory is, that the bulb is attracted by any 
metallic substance within its influence, and will incline the rods in 
that direction. 

After witnessing the operation near watches and other articles 
composed in whole or in part of metals, they started for the moun- 
tain in which the operator said there were masses of ore. About 
half a mile distant he set his rods, which soon gave out a vibrat- 
ing motion, with a gradual inclination towards the mountain. This 
increased as they approached and ascended, until they were more 
than half-way up to the summit, when the inclination was down- 
ward. The operator then said they had passed the mine. Experi- 
ments were tried in different directions, and at length a spot was 
identified, where, apparently, the rods would not work at all. This 
was alleged to be directly over the mine. But the two students 
charged him with producing the action. of the rods himself by an 
imperceptible action of his hands, which it was plain he might do 
from the manner in which he held them. This he denied, and of- 
fered to submit to any test they might require. Going a short 
distance from the alleged locality of the mine, they required him 
to set his rods and place the back of his hands on a log ; each 
of them took hold of one of his hands with both of theirs and 
watched with the utmost vigilance. Neither by the sense of sight 
nor feeling could they perceive the slightest movement of his hands, 
yet the rods bent downward and downward until they formed an 
angle of about forty- five degrees below a horizontal plane and made 
livid bruises on the sides of his hands. The spectators were 
confounded, but not convinced. 

Their attention was now diverted by the discovery of a hedge- 
hog, or porcupine, in a tree about thirty feet from the ground, which 
they determined to capture. One of the cousins climbed up an- 
other tree close by, and with a pole pushed the animal off. The 
rest stood below with clubs, and, as soon as he reached the ground, 
crossed them over his back and held him fast. They had no cord, 
but succeeded in tying a withe around one of his hind legs, though 
one of the cousins during the operation had several quills driven 



30 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

into his hands by a whisk of the creature's stumpy tail. He was 
as obstinate as any other hog, and it took them a long time to get 
him to the foot of the mountain, where, being out of patience, they 
gave him to some boys whom they met on the road. 

Many suppose this animal can project its quills to a considerable 
distance. It is not so ; they are merely a defensive weapon, and 
very effective against the brute creation. When threatened with an 
attack and unable to escape, the hedgehog crouches upon its belly, 
and erects the quills which cover its back and its sides to the end of 
its blunt tail. This it can vibrate a short distance and strike its 
quills into any object within reach. But woe to the man or beast 
that attempts to seize him with hands, paws, or jaws, while in its 
defensive position ! A dog at the college once ventured on the 
perilous experiment. His mouth was stuck full of quills so that 
he could not shut it, and his master, deeming his case hopeless, 
thought it merciful to kill him. 

In July, 1809, Mr. Kendall joined the Handel Society, one of 
several associations in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, organ- 
ized for the purpose of cultivating sacred music, and expelling 
from the service of the churches the light and jangling airs then 
in general use. In this object they were entirely successful, though 
they carried the reform to an extreme from which there was after- 
wards a considerable reaction. 

On the 19th of August the Freshman class was examined, and 
all its members admitted to regular standing in the Sophomore 
class. On Monday and Tuesday the various societies had exhibi- 
tions in the following order, viz. : on Monday, the Religiosi, on Tues- 
day the Social Friends, the Phi Beta Kappa, the United Fraternity, 
and the Handel. On the 24th was the annual commencement, 
with its usual performances. That evening, in company with his 
father, Kendall left for home, where they arrived on the 26th. 

The want of funds to pay his expenses at college again com- 
pelled him to remain at home until he could replenish his ex- 
chequer by keeping school. After a few days spent in visiting 
relations and friends, he resumed his studies in order to qualify 
himself to re-enter his class the next spring. 

In October he agreed to teach a school in New Ipswich three 
months, at $ 14.50 per month, beginning on the 21st of Novem- 
ber. On going there he was informed by his uncle, with whom 
he was to board, that the school had heretofore been very 



PEDAGOGIC STRATEGY. 31 

disorderly, and that as a prejudice had arisen against him from 
causes over which he had no control, it was feared that he would 
have trouble. Being thus forewarned, he began the school by 
imitating King Log. He announced no rules of order, took no 
notice of whispering, laughing, or leaving seats, and went through 
with all the duties of the day as listlessly as possible. The 
second day was passed like the first until near its close, and the 
children became so outrageous that he could stand it no longer. 
Suddenly he cried " Silence ! " in a loud voice. Every eye was 
turned upon him, and there was silence profound. 

He then stated that he had been informed there were disorderly 
persons in that school, and he had left them thus far to act out their 
natural dispositions without restraint, in order that he might find 
out who they were ; that he now had his eyes upon them, and 
knew how to meet their disorder. He then proceeded to an- 
nounce his rules and dismissed school. The next morning his 
whole manner was changed. In everything he was prompt and 
decided, though kind and obliging, and the result was that this 
school was more orderly than any other he ever taught. The 
parents of the children were, generally, intelligent and kind, ap- 
parently exerting themselves to make his residence among them 
agreeable, and he was cordially invited to take charge of the school 
the next winter. Having by reqiiest continued the school a week 
beyond his original agreement, he finally dismissed it on the 18th 
of February, 1809. The amount received for this winter's labor 
was $ 47.12 J. 

Eeturning home he found that his grandfather had died a few 
days before at the age of eighty-five years, and a few days after- 
ward he attended the funeral of his grandfather's brother, Jacob, 
aged also upwards of eighty years. 

On the 6th of March he returned to Dartmouth College, and im- 
mediately thereafter was examined and re-entered his class. 

The entire want of congeniality between him and T. C. Gardner 
induced him to look out for another chum, and soon after his re- 
turn he found himself associated with Jonathan Fowle in a room 
in a private house. 

Nothing out of the ordinary routine of college-life occurred un- 
til the 19th of April, when a series of transactions was inaugurated 
which afforded him a practical lesson not without its use in after life. 

Each class except the Freshman had what was called its quar- 



32 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

ter-day. It was distinguished by a public exhibition, which in- 
cluded the performance of certain orations and forensic discussions 
given out by the faculty, and called Appointments. By the order 
in which they were given out they indicated the relative estima- 
tion in which the recipients were held by the faculty for scholar- 
ship and general merit. 

It had been a practice from time immemorial for those who re- 
ceived the higher appointments to "treat" the rest of the class on 
the evening of the day of announcement, and for the class to " treat" 
all the other classes on the day of performance. This custom was 
productive of intemperance and rowdyism disgraceful to the col- 
lege, and a few members of Kendall's class determined to make an 
effort to break it up. They believed a majority of the class would 
sustain the movement, and one morning after recitation requested 
their classmates to stop for the purpose of. ascertaining their views. 
Eesolutions were presented denouncing the custom, and declar- 
ing that the class would neither encourage nor participate in it. 
They were opposed by those who preferred a frolic to the reputa- 
tion of the college ;" but after discussion were adopted by a clear 
majority. Those who took an interest in the movement deter- 
mined to meet at two o'clock the same day for the purpose of con- 
certing further measures. The other party occupied the interme- 
diate time in electioneering against the movement, and met the 
reformers at two o'clock with new recruits and in a most deter- 
mined spirit. A resolution was offered rescinding the resolution 
of the morning and ratifying the time-disgraced custom. A vio- 
lent discussion ensued, and the success of the rescinding motion 
became probable, when a few of the temperance party determined 
to change their tactics and make it an individual instead of a class 
affair. They retired and drew up a brief pledge to the effect that 
they would neither " treat " nor participate in " treating " on the 
day when the appointments should be given out or on Sophomore 
quarter-day. Mr. Kendall returned into the meeting with this 
paper, signed by himself and five others, and calling the attention 
of his classmates, read it, and invited all those who were opposed 
to the custom of "treating" to sign it. This raised at once a 
storm of excitement. James Bradford, the son of a clergyman, 
and himself avowedly preparing for the pulpit, requested to see the 
paper. It was put into his hands, when he spit upon it, tore it in 
pieces, and stamped upon it. Kendall looked him in the face a 



TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT. 33 

moment, and then said, " I can write another." Accordingly he 
retired, wrote another and signed it ; but such a storm had been 
raised that a large portion of those who were disposed to act with 
the temperance party shrank from the responsibility, and only 
thirteen signatures could be procured to the pledge in the class of 
sixty members. 

The next day the Sophomore appointments were given out. The 
first was assigned to Nathaniel H. Carter, the second to Joseph 
Perry, the third to Nathaniel Wright, the fourth to Daniel Poor, 
the fifth to Eobert Crowell, the sixth to Amos Kendall, the seventh 

to Samuel Woodbury, the eighth to Fairfield, and then 

followed several to whom were assigned dialogues and forensic 
discussions. Of the eight who received the principal appoint- 
ments, six had signed the pledge against " treating." A tutor who 
had previously expressed his opinion against the practice, after 
reading off the appointments, in the name of the faculty pro- 
hibited it, and announced that any one who " treated," or allowed 
" treating " in his room, would be expelled. 

Several of the students went from the recitation-room to Mr. 
Perry's room, which was on the lower floor of the main college 
building, for the purpose of congratulating him and talking over 
the incidents of the day. In the midst of their conversation the 
door was opened, and in came half a dozen classmates with a 
decanter of rum, which they set on the table of a study-chair ; 
they invited all present to drink, and set the example themselves. 
Kendall, who was present, immediately left for his own room, not 
knowing what might be going on there, and at the outer door met 
two of the " treating " party, whose faces confessed their guilt. He 
simply said " I see you," and passed on into his room, where he 
found the table standing in the middle of the floor, with every 
empty bottle and vessel in the room placed upon it in derision. 

The next night several guns were fired into the windows of Mr. 
Perry's room, shattering them into a thousand pieces. The same 
night the windows of a room occupied by one of the tutors named 
Ayres were broken, and a large quantity of filth laid at his door. 

On the 25th Mr. Perry was called before the faculty, on the 
charge of allowing " treating " in his room, and Kendall and Fowle 
were called upon as witnesses. They stated what they saw, and, 
among other things, that it was their classmate Polsome who 
brought the liquor into Perry's room. Folsome, when called up, 



34 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

denied it, when he was confronted with Fowle, Poor, and Kendall, 
who all confirmed their original statement to his face, and it was 
proved by Carter that the same party had thrust themselves with 
their liquor into his room. 

On the 27th Bradford and several others were called to account 
for their conduct in this affair and various other misdemeanors. 
The next morning the " Temple of Cloacina," or the " Little Col- 
lege," so called by the students, was in ashes, the cushion of the 
chapel desk torn into shreds, and scattered through the building 
and around the colleges, and the front and floor of the desk, to- 
gether with the seats of the professors and tutors, were defiled 
with filth. 

The President, however, though greatly agitated, made a feeling 
and excellent prayer, and then called on Tutor Ayres, who read the 
sentence of the faculty expelling Folsome, and also that depriving 
Bradford of all the privileges of the institution, and directing him 
to leave it without delay. The form of Bradford's sentence was 
occasioned by the fact that, in consequence of long absence, he was 
not at that time a member of the class. Folsome and Bradford 
immediately left the chapel, and as the faculty came out, the 
former accosted Tutor Brown, cursed him, and charged him with 
being the author of his disgrace. The Tutor, who was a most 
amiable man, though endowed with remarkable firmness and self- 
possession, took no notice of Folsome, but was seen to speak to 
Professor Hubbard, and laugh. Not content with this exploit, 
Folsome, the same day, threw a brickbat at Perry, insulted Fowle, 
hallooed at Kendall when passing at a distance, and said he had 
told a d — d lie, when his companions commenced singing a dog- 
gerel song about him which some of them had composed. Of all 
this none of the temperance party took any notice. 

Mr. Perry was the only one of the obnoxious individuals whose 
room was easily accessible to the malcontents, and so strong were 
their apprehensions for his personal safety, that a few of his friends 
for several nights kept watch in his room. As long as the watch 
was continued, he was not molested ; but twice, when it was sus- 
pended, his windows were dashed in, and once his door was battered 
open with a log of wood. 

Twice as Kendall passed out of the main college building a stick 
of wood was thrown at him from a passage window in the third 
story, to the manifest danger of his life. Sitting near his class- 



_ No. 



4 2MMm 




35 



mate, Pillsbury, — who occupied one of the adjacent rooms, — at 
supper the evening after the second assault, Kendall asked in a 
good-humored tone, " Who keeps garrison in the passage between 
your room and Goodwin's ? " (The passage from which the mis- 
siles came.) Pillsbury replied, " That is our mode of salutation." 
Kendall rejoined, " I should like to be saluted in a situation where 
I could return the compliment." Pillsbury blushed, and was 
silent. 

As quarter-day approached, all sorts of rumors were circulated, 
such as that the temperance party, and Kendall in particular, were 
to be hissed and driven from the stage ; that the students in general 
wotdd not attend in the chapel ; that there would be disturbances, 
etc., etc. The evident object was to deter the public from attend- 
ing; and such was the effect that the resident band of music 
declined to play. Upon the suggestion of one of the tutors and 
Professor Hubbard, application was made to the Handel Society to 
perform some pieces of sacred music. The panic had reached the 
society, and there was opposition, on the ground that the applica- 
tion was not made by the class. Being himself a member of the 
society, and also the committee to provide music, Mr. Kendall was 
called on for an explanation. Somewhat provoked at the hesita- 
tion of the society to aid the cause of right and virtue in such an 
emergency, he related all the circumstances, under some excite- 
ment, and concluded by telling them, " If you see fit to help us, 
well ; if not, we will help ourselves." As there was still an 
evident reluctance on the part of a large portion of the society, 
the application was pressed no further. 

Being determined to have music, the temperance party sent a 
messenger to a neighboring town, where he engaged four per- 
formers. At their request the faculty had postponed the exhibi- 
tion for one week, for the purpose of enabling them to complete their 
arrangements, and in the hope that the excitement would subside. 

On the morning of the 24th of May, the day to which the per- 
formances had been adjourned, it was evident that active measures 
were on foot to prevent the attendance of an audience. About 
noon a party of negroes appeared and built a booth not twenty 
rods from the chapel, which was soon furnished with seats, tables, 
liquors, and eatables. Near by was mounted on a log an old iron 
cannon, which from time immemorial had been without an owner, 
and used by the students as a sort of plaything. 



36 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

At 2 P. M. the faculty and performers entered the chapel. 
Not thirty students other than the performers came in, and 
the entire audience did not exceed eighty. A large portion 
of the other students, with a promiscuous crowd of people, sur- 
rounded the booth and the cannon. Simultaneously with those 
in the chapel began the exercises at the booth. They consisted 
of drinking, shouting, yelling, singing doggerel songs, and firing the 
old cannon. 

Undismayed, however, the performers in the chapel went through 
with their exercises, removed their staging, retired to their rooms, 
and spent a pleasant evening in social intercourse. The party on 
the plain also dispersed, and all was quiet. Which party slept 
that night with the most easy consciences and with the best hopes 
for the future, it would not be difficult to determine. The perform- 
ances were highly commended, and the little temperance party felt 
that they had achieved a great victory. 

For several days all remained quiet, and the rioters, when ques- 
tioned as to their reasons for absenting themselves from the chapel, 
generally gave some frivolous excuse. The faculty seemed unde- 
cided as to the course they should pursue. At length they deter- 
mined to call up all those who had absented themselves from the 
chapel, and treat each according to the spirit he might evince on 
examination. The mildest punishment contemplated for those who 
had wilfully taken part in the disturbances, was a written acknowl- 
edgment of error and regret, in a form which the faculty had 
themselves prepared. They began with calling up the members 
of the Senior class, who generally signed the acknowledgment. 
Mr. Kendall's journal says, " Woodbury, however, who was deeply 
implicated in the affair, was excused, affirming that he was forced 
into the scrape." This was Levi Woodbury, afterwards distin- 
guished in public life. 

The Juniors engaged in the riot were next called up, only one 
of whom signed the acknowledgment. Several were excused 
and eight dismissed. All of those in the Sophomore and Fresh- 
man classes who were engaged signed the acknowledgment, when 
the refractory Juniors, finding themselves without support in the 
other classes, came forward and offered to sign. Their offer was 
accepted and they were restored. 

Darling, of the Sophomore class, was dismissed, for the additional 
offence of singing a doggerel song, written to ridicule the attempt to 



COLLEGE LIFE. 37 

put down " treating," in which several names, including Kendall's, 
were freely used. Having much sympathy for him, in the belief 
that he had acted under the influence of worse young men, Ken- 
dall had a free conversation with him, during which Darling con- 
fessed his error and folly, exhibited the song, but disavowed all 
knowledge of the author, and said the disturbance did not origi- 
nate in the Sophomore class, and tendered all the reparation in his 
power. 

On account of the steady determination with which Kendall had 
acted in this affair he had become very odious to the " treating " 
party, some of whom vented their spite by writing his name on the 
college walls, in the chapel, and in the recitation-room, connected 
with curses, denunciations, and nicknames. Of this he made no 
complaint and took no notice. 

Some time after Bradford left Kendall received an anonymous 
letter postmarked at Bradford's place of residence, containing noth- 
ing but a repetition of such vulgar insults as had been inscribed 
upon the college walls. Not doubting that Bradford was the 
author, Kendall concluded to lay it aside until Bradford became 
a preacher of the gospel, — that being the profession which it was 
known he intended to adopt. Hearing in 1818 that he had be- 
come a settled minister in an interior town in Massachusetts, Mr. 
Kendall wrote in Bradford's letter the following words, addressed 
it to him, paid the postage, and sent it by mail : — 

" Groton, November 16, 1813. 
" Rev. Sib, — I return to you the only memorial of your former folly 
and meanness in my possession. That I never injured you is known to 
my God, your God, and my own conscience. I am sufficiently revenged. 
That you are reformed, and that you may be useful and finally happy, 
is the sincere hope of Amos Kendall." 

It was believed that if Mr. Bradford had become a better man 
this note would elicit an apology from him; but no reply was ever 
received ; nor did Bradford ever attend a class-meeting, though 
several were held while he was yet living. 

The frolic of shutting up the cows in the college cellar had 
been frequently repeated with no incident worthy of note. On the 
night of the 14th of July, however, they were again shut up under 
circumstances which threatened serious consequences. It was 
given out that they should not be released until the people 



38 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OP AMOS KENDALL. 

of the village would agree to yard them at night. This was 
not of itself an unreasonable demand, for their presence every 
night on the common was an intolerable nuisance. No attempt 
was made to release them during the day ; but as night approached 
there were rumors that the inhabitants were preparing to take 
them out by force. Not much attention was paid to this rumor, 
until one of the students, in taking a walk, was assaulted by a half- 
drunken negro. Immediately all the college was in an uproar. 
Kendall had taken no part in the affair, as his room was at a dis- 
tance ; but hearing of the threatened attack, he repaired to the main 
college building, and prepared to join in the defence. It was soon 
ascertained that the inhabitants had collected in large numbers, 
that some of them were armed with muskets alleged to be charged 
with balls, and that an assault on the college was meditated for 
the purpose of compelling the students to let the cattle out. 
Nothing daunted by this information, the young men collected all 
the arms they could find in the college, consisting of one musket 
and a few pistols, some of which they, too, loaded with ball. 
They also collected in the passages .of the main college building 
quantities of stones and brickbats, to be used in repelling the 
threatened attack. The excitement increased as the evening pro- 
gressed, and several reports of firearms, discharged in defiance, took 
place both from the college and the crowd. These demonstrations 
alarmed the faculty and the peaceable citizens, who interfered and 
secured a parley. The students on the one hand, and the citizens 
on the other, appointed committees who met in conference. All 
the students demanded was, that the citizens should yard their 
cattle at night, and thus prevent a serious nuisance. This de- 
mand was acceded to, and a formal treaty concluded, which for 
a short time only was complied with by the citizens. 

Among the amusements of this period was the institution of a 
new society, denominated Ine Heber, and also of a court to try 
offences against the rules of the class. The Ine Heber originated 
as follows : A large number of students met on a walk, when it 
was suddenly proposed that the ugliest man in the company, to be 
designated by a vote of the majority, should " treat." The pro- 
posal was acceded to with alacrity and the victim selected. As it 
was rather unreasonable to require one to treat so large a company, 
the next ugliest and the next were selected until they num- 
bered about half a dozen, including Kendall. When the cere- 



DANCING. 39 

many of " treating " was over, the select few separated from the 
crowd, and, setting up claims to superior merit, organized them- 
selves into a society with a Hebrew name, which was understood to 
mean the " Ugly Club." They had their officers, — whose superior 
merit consisted in superior iigliness, — their regulations and weekly 
meetings. Their exercises consisted of mock heroics and fun of 
all sorts. The meetings were not very orderly, and in the midst 
of the confusion one evening it was proposed to elect a despot to 
whom every member should yield implicit, prompt, and silent 
obedience, on pain of expulsion, — an admirable plan to preserve 
order, which has since been imitated by the French nation. But 
alas for the perversity of human nature ! so numerous were the 
expulsions from the Ine Heber for questioning the wisdom of the 
despot that it soon ceased to exist. 

The parents of Amos Kendall were conscientiously opposed to 
the amusement of dancing, and would not allow their older child- 
ren to go to any ball or party where it was indulged in. As the 
younger ones grew up they became less intolerant on this subject, 
not from any change of opinion as to the sinfulness of the amuse- 
ment, but evidently from a conviction that the severe restraint 
imposed on their older children was producing unhappy results. 
For prohibition, therefore, were substituted advice and admonition. 
Dancing had now become a general amusement at private parties 
in New England, and Kendall met with it constantly while en- 
gaged in keeping school. Though much disposed to participate, 
he was deterred by the fear of appearing ignorant or awkward to 
his pupils, many of whom were nearly of his own age. Having 
an opportunity at college in the summer of 1809, he determined 
to take lessons in dancing for a single quarter, without the knowl- 
edge of his parents. While practising one day in the dancing- 
hall, which was over a store, a messenger from below announced to 
him that a gentleman in the store wished to see him. It turned 
out to be a cousin of his father living about two miles distant. 
His visitor inquired what they were doing up stairs, and young- 
Kendall, perceiving by the question that he did not understand the 
true state of the case, replied they were going through some of 
their college exercises. That quarter he practised the most rigid 
economy, and in the bill of expenses rendered to his father placed 
his dancing bills under the head of miscellaneous expenses, 
which, not being very heavy, passed without inquiry. Thus it was 



40 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

that he escaped detection, and that his parents escaped the afflic- 
tion of knowing that he had been to a dancing-school. It was the 
only time that Amos Kendall deceived his parents, and although 
he did it to save them unhappiness, and felt justified, he could not 
recommend the practice to others. 

On the 16th of August, 1809, the members of the Sophomore 
class were examined and admitted to the Junior standing. On 
the 23d was Commencement, on which occasion Levi Woodbury 
delivered the salutatory oration, then considered the first appoint- 
ment and the highest honor. 

On the 25th Mr. Kendall travelled on foot to West Windsor, 
and spent several days at the residence of his uncles, Cummings 
and Wilkins, whose wives were his father's sisters, and in .making 
sundry excursions therefrom. At a ball in West Windsor he 
committed a ludicrous blunder, which was a source of momentary 
mortification to him and of merriment to his cousins. During a 
long contra-dance he sat on a bench which ran along the side of 
the hall and fell into a " brown study," to which he was very little 
addicted. A part of the figure was a chassee from side to side, in 
which the partners joined hands with extended arms. Suddenly 
he was awakened from his revery by a pocket-handkerchief in the 
hand of a lady being thrust almost into his face, which he seized 
with a snatch. The lady stared at him as she chasseed away, and 
on her return he handed it back with a bow. She evidently did 
not understand the meaning of so strange an act, and her eyes 
were fixed upon him with a look of wonder during the rest of the 
evening. 

On the 5th of September his father and mother joined him on 
a visit to his sisters, then living in Vermont. One of the sisters 
lived at Fairfax, on Lamoille River, about forty miles from the 
Canada line ; and in an intermediate township called Underbill 
also lived their oldest son Zebedee and their only daughter Molly, 
who had married a man named Fletcher. The father and mother 
had come from home in a chaise, and Amos hired a horse to ac- 
company them on the remainder of their journey. On the morninc 
of the 9th they Avent over to Woodstock, where the father had 
some distant relations of his own name. It was Sunday, and in 
the evening they attended a meeting of a new religious sect call- 
ing themselves Christians (pronounced with the " i " lono-). They 
had no minister, and their services consisted of zealous conversa- 



JOUENEY TO VERMONT. 41 

tion, singing, and praying, in which the women took a very active 
part. 

On the next and three succeeding days the party pursued their 
journey through Eandolph and Montpelier, etc., to Underbill. 
Here they saw how people live who settle on poor land upon a 
wooded frontier. Zebedee Kendall and Amos Fletcher had each 
purchased on credit a tract of wild land, built small log-cabins, and 
made clearings. Their accommodations and fare were of the rudest 
description, though the food was wholesome, and they appeared to 
be contented. Their mother, however, was much affected at the 
sight of their poverty and destitution of home comforts. In one 
respect the women presented a striking contrast with the ladies of 
polished society. One of them had an infant but a week old, and 
yet, without physician, nurse, or any other assistance tban that 
of her husband, she had even during that week performed her 
household duties, and then appeared to be in her usual healtb. 

This was a sad visit for Amos Kendall, not so much on account 
of the manner in which his brothers and their families lived, as of 
the conviction that they could never meet the payments for their 
land, and were making improvements upon it for the benefit of 
others. Such was the actual result. In the winter of 1813 his 
brother Zebedee abandoned his place, giving up all his improve- 
ments, and returned to his father's with little else than a wife and 
five children. In August of the same year his sister, having also 
five children, arrived at her father's under the following circum- 
stances. Her husband, finding himself in painful pecuniary straits, 
enlisted in the army of the United States, and left her. She was 
destitute of the necessaries of life, and could not obtain them. A 
state of pregnancy added to the distress of her situation. She wrote 
to her father, and he was preparing to send for her when she arrived. 
She had sold her furniture, bought a horse and cart, taken in her 
five children, and, with no other companions, started on a journey 
of two hundred miles. Her oldest child was but twelve years old. 
Within forty miles of her father's she was taken in labor, but was 
received into a family and treated kindly. She lost her child, and 
in one fortnight thereafter reached her father's house. 

After spending about three days at these log-cabins the party 
took an affectionate leave of their occupants, and went over to 
Fairfax on a visit to Mr. "Wilkins and family, — Mrs. Wilkins being 
a sister of Amos Kendall's father. He owned valuable mills on 



42 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

Lamoille Eiver, and had several children living in the neighbor- 
hood. After spending about four days in visiting and various 
amusements, the party set out on their return to Windsor by way 
of Burlington, Vergennes, Middlebury, and Eutland. They were 
disappointed in the appearance of the college at Burlington, a 
portion of which was unpainted and the grounds very indifferently 
improved. The situation, however, was beautiful, commanding a 
fine view of Lake Champlain which was reached by a gradual 
descent from the building. The city of Burlington was then but 
a small village. The scenery from points along the eastern shore 
of Lake Champlain is exceeded in beauty by that of few places 
in America. The lake is but a few miles wide, and is studded with 
islands. The western shore exhibits a broken country, dotted with 
improvements, and rising as it recedes into hills and mountains. 

Spending the night in Vergennes, the party passed on through 
Middlebury to Eutland, and the next day crossed the mountains 
to Cavendish. There they separated, the father and mother con- 
tinuing their journey towards home, and the son returning to 
"Windsor. 

On the 25th of September Amos Kendall returned to Hanover, 
and remained with his class until about the 15th of November, 
when the necessity of replenishing his funds by keeping school 
compelled him to ask leave of absence. Three other students, 
Andrews and Wheeler of the Junior class, and Eastman of the 
Sophomore, were about leaving at the same time in the same direc- 
tion, and the four determined to make the journey home on foot, 
more for a frolic than from any necessity. Early in the morning 
they started in fine spirits and travelled about six miles before 
breakfast. As they progressed, however, the unaccustomed use of 
their limbs in such long walks began to be sensibly felt, and falling 
in with an empty wagon travelling in the same direction they 
obtained permission to ride, and were thus carried forward about 
six miles. It was still a few miles to a tavern, which was reached 
with much difficulty. Eastman fairly gave out, and had to be 
assisted for the last mile or two. The whole distance made during 
the day was about thirty miles. Wheeler had left the party at 
Newport. 

The good people of Goshen were holding a school-meeting at 
the tavern that evening, and the young students were not too 
much fatigued to be diverted by the speeches made by the plain 
countrymen on that interesting occasion. 



"COLD FRIDAY." 43 

On consulting their legs the next morning, the young men 
deemed it imprudent to trust them for another day's tramp, and 
hired horses to take them out to the stage-road, about ten miles 
distant. No stage was to pass until the evening, and they walked 
about three miles to the residence of Andrews, during which East- 
man again required assistance. Having rested there until about 
sunset, they went down to Pierce's tavern, on the stage-road to Hills- 
borough. This house was kept by General Pierce of Eevolutionary 
celebrity, one of whose sons was a late President of the United 
States. The evening passed agreeably in conversation with the 
General's daughters, to one of whom Mr. Kendall had been intro- 
duced at Hanover. The stage arrived about half past nine o'clock, 
when Kendall and Eastman bade adieu to Andrews, and reached 
Gibson's tavern, in Erancestown, about midnight. Eesuming their 
journey about 3 A. M., they arrived at their respective homes in 
Dunstable and Hollis in the afternoon. 

Before Mr. Kendall left the college his father had engaged for 
him the school in New Ipswich which he had taught the preced- 
ing winter. After spending a few days at home and in visiting 
his friends in Groton, he repaired to the field of his winter's labors 
and commenced his school on the 4th of December. For him 
the winter was a remarkably happy one. His scholars were uni- 
formly obedient and respectful, and most of them very studious. 
Their parents were, without exception, kind and confiding. The 
neighborhood was exceedingly social, and about half of the evenings 
there were small parties; to all of which the schoolmaster was 
invited. 

On the 19th of January, 1810, occurred what was long remem- 
bered as the " Cold Friday." There had been a warm rain, and the 
snow, still perhaps eighteen inches deep, was saturated with water. 
Suddenly on Thursday night the wind changed to the northwest, 
and blew with the utmost fury. The snow on Friday morning was 
congealed into a hard mass. The school-house was about half a 
mile nearly west from Mr. Kendall's lodgings. Starting almost in 
the face of the wind on the hard snow, and walking rapidly, he 
soon found himself so exhausted from breathing the condensed 
atmosphere that he found it necessary to take shelter behind a 
high stump. He had on woollen mittens, but his ears were un- 
covered. He soon perceived that to remain there would be to 
freeze, and again started onward. By the constant use of his mit- 



44 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

tened hands he saved his ears and reached the school-house with- 
out being frozen. But few children came, and some of these with 
frozen fingers and toes. One red-cheeked boy about twelve years 
old had, as he entered, a white spot on one cheek about as big as 
a half-dollar ; but by the application of a rag wet with snow-water 
the frost was extracted without leaving even a soreness. The 
wind raged all through Friday and half of Saturday, and though 
there was scarcely a cloud to be seen, there was no sensible 
moderation of temperature. Many houses were wholly or par- 
tially unroofed, among which was the meeting-house at New 
Ipswich. Much timber was destroyed, and in some pieces of 
woodland few trees were left standing. They were not torn up by 
the roots, but broken off at different heights from the ground. 
The power of the wind may be appreciated from the fact that 
large trees, perfectly sound and destitute of foliage, were broken 
entirely off within a few feet from the ground. 

On the 22d of February the school was inspected in the pres- 
ence of a large portion of the people of the district, who expressed 
the highest satisfaction with the improvement of the children. 
On the 24th of February the school was closed for the season. 
"While the members of a class of little girls from ten to thirteen 
years old were standing up to read, for the last time, some of them 
began to sob, when the whole class caught the infection, and being 
unable to proceed were remanded to their seats. The next older 
class were called on, and for the same reason were directed to 
resume their seats. There was a small class of girls and boys not 
much younger than their teacher, who were summoned to recite, 
but they also broke down. The teacher, therefore, with much 
emotion, made a short address to the children and dismissed 
them. In his journal he recorded that after he had dismissed the 
children he shed tears himself, and that he had never before been 
more attached to a circle of friends or parted from one with so 
much reluctance. But though pressed to say he would teach the 
school the next winter, he declined doing so, not knowing what 
might then be his interest or duty. For this winter's services he 
received forty-eight dollars. 

After Mr. Kendall left college the preceding fall, great excite- 
ment had prevailed at the college and in the surrounding country, 
which had not entirely subsided on his return. A youno- man had 
been directed to go to Boston, it was said, to procure a subject for 



"BODY-SNATCHERS." 45 

the dissecting-room. Searching in the burial-ground of an adjacent 
town, he discovered a newly-made grave, and opening it, took out 
the body of a young boy and carried it to the college. The grave 
had been so imperfectly closed as to attract attention, and on ex- 
amination a pocket-book was found near it, evidently dropped by 
the resurrectionist, which had his name in it. The grave was re- 
opened. In what direction the missing body had been taken ad- 
mitted of no doubt. The first knowledge of the discovery which 
the authorities of the college had, was the appearance at the door 
of the lecture-room of an officer and several stout attendants, armed 
with a search-warrant and demanding admittance. The room was 
searched, and nothing found ; but as the party were about retiring, 
one of them discovered a loose plank in the floor among the seats. 
On removing it there were the remains of a boy so far dissected 
and so mangled as to leave nothing of face or form by which he 
could be recognized. From the size and other circumstances the 
father had no doubt that the remains were those of his son, and 
they Avere taken away for reinterment. This shocking develop- 
ment threw the surrounding country into a state of terror and 
excitement. People ceased for a time to bury their dead in the 
public burying-grounds. Town-meetings were held and violent 
resolutions adopted. Dr. Smith, the head of the anatomical depart- 
ment, rode out to attend one of the meetings, in the hope of allaying 
the excitement by timely explanations. But the people not only 
refused to hear him, but thrust him violently out of the meeting- 
house, and he mounted his horse and fled to escape further out- 
rage. Threats to burn the college buildings were freely uttered, 
and indeed they were in imminent danger. The young man who 
had been the immediate cause of this outbreak fled upon its first 
demonstrations, and although vengeance was denounced against 
him if to be found on earth, and attempts were made to discover 
the place of his retreat, he escaped unpunished, though it is not 
known that he ever again appeared in that neighborhood. In pro- 
cess of time the excitement subsided ; but it had the salutary 
effect of preventing for many years the indiscriminate violation of 
graves in that region of country for the purpose of procuring sub- 
jects for dissection. 

On the night of the 1 9th of April the college and village were 
alarmed by the cry of fire. Suddenly aroused from sleep, Kendall 
saw a bright glow on the buildings in front of his window, and sup- 



46 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

posed the fire was in the roof of the large building in which his 
room was situated. In a few minutes he was dressed and had 
all his effects ready for removal. On further inspection, the fire 
was discovered to be in a barn belonging to Dr. Smith, which, 
with two adjacent houses, was entirely destroyed. Dr. Smith 
was that night in attendance upon a patient in the country. 
Alarmed at the serious face of the messenger sent to announce 
the disaster, who presented himself in the morning, he suddenly 
asked, " What is the matter ? Is anybody dead ? " The messenger 
answered " No ; but your barn is burned, with two of your horses." 
Believed from his more serious apprehensions, Dr. Smith replied, 
" Well, it will make a good watermelon-patch." Dr. Smith was 
an amiable man, of strong sympathies, but much self-control He 
had, perhaps, at that day, no superior as a skilful surgeon, and it 
was reported of him that he would perform the most agonizing 
operations with the utmost coolness, and when all was over go 
away and cry like a child. 

In April of this year Mr. KendalL on invitation, joined a liter- 
ary society called the Philoi Uuphradias, composed of students 
selected, on account of their supposed superior scholarship, from 
the societies of Social Friends and United Fraternity. 

To the great disgust of those who had encountered so much 
odium in putting down the practice of " treating " on Sophomore 
quarter-day, it was resumed again this year without any interfer- 
ence of the authorities either before or after the fact. Another 
affair occurred not long afterwards, which further evinced the 
lack of discretion in the college faculty in the government of 
young men. A few wild fellows had amused themselves one night 
by collecting the cattle on the common and shutting them up in 
the college cellar. It was not an uncommon occurrence, and the 
faculty had not generally taken any notice of it. On this occa- 
sion they ordered the young men occupying the rooms above the 
entrance into the cellar to remove the obstructions and let the 
cattle out. They were among the most orderly students in college, 
some of them members of churches, and all young men who never 
participated in nightly frolics. They obeyed the order ; but their 
natural indignation at being required in open day to undo the 
nightly mischief of others was soon inflamed, as well by their own 
reflections as by the comments of their friends and the derision of 
their less orderly fellow-students. The result was a general deter- 



IN ORDER OF BATTLE. 47 

urination, to put the cattle into the cellar again, to come out as 
they might. 

Kendall was not one of the young men on whom the indignity 
had been put ; but they were his associates, and he fully sympa- 
thized with their resentment. On the evening of the 19th of June 
he had gone to bed early, having an attack of sick-headache. Be- 
tween nine and ten o'clock his chum came in, and told him they 
had resolved to turn out that night. He got up, dressed himself, 
and with his chum sallied out to take part in the fray. It was 
not ten o'clock, and the moon was shining brightly. Now, that 
even the church-members were engaged, the lovers of frolicturned 
out in force, and soon more than a hundred young men, most of 
them somewhat disguised, were perambulating in squads the com- 
mon and roads adjacent, and driving cattle and horses towards the 
college. Some of the animals had been driven into the cellar, 
when President Wheelock, unobserved, approached the entrance. 
Seizing one of the young men by the arm, he spoke, and being 
recognized, was tripped up and fell upon the ground. He was not 
further molested, but deemed it prudent to make a hasty retreat. 
About a score of live stock had been driven into the cellar, and a 
party were engaged in carrying and rolling stones, taken from a 
fence just at hand, with which the entrance had been so far filled 
as to be impassable, when another party appeared with a horse and 
a number of cattle. The question was, Shall the obstructions be 
removed and this additional lot driven in ? It was known that 
the faculty had assembled at the President's house, and their ap- 
pearance on the ground was momentarily expected. Nevertheless, 
it was determined that these new recruits should go in at all haz- 
ards. Probably more than sixty young men were on the spot ; 
and about half of them were assigned to prevent the interfer- 
ence of the faculty, while the residue removed the obstructions, 
drove in the cattle, and filled up the entrance. Amos Kendall 
was one of the party assigned to the duty of defending the work- 
ing-party. 

The cellar-way was under the rear of the main college building, 
and in full view of the rear of the President's house ; but a board- 
fence intervened, in which was a gate, and through that gate the 
faculty were expected to approach should they venture to interfere. 
The defensive party of students stationed themselves, armed with 
stones and brickbats, a few rods from this fence, with the under- 



48 AUTOBIOGEAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

standing that in case the faculty made their appearance, advancing 
from the rear of the President's house, they should hurl their 
missiles against the hoard-fence, which demonstration it was 
helieved would deter them from advancing. 

The party at the cellar-way had removed the obstructions so 
that the entrance was passable, and were in the act of driving 
in the reinforcements of stock, when the two tutors made their 
appearance from the rear of the President's house, advancing to- 
ward the gate. Stones and brickbats rattled against the fence, but 
the brave men kept on, passed through the gate, and were rapidly 
approaching the array of students. At this crisis, more than half 
of the defensive party took to their heels, but the residue, knowing 
that the entire object of the movement would be defeated should 
they prove recreant, aimed their missiles directly at the tutors, 
who immediately ran behind the chapel, which was just at hand. 
No violence was offered them after they turned their backs, though 
Kendall and a few others followed them as a corps of observation. 
After a short consultation the tutors retired, evidently in despair 
of stopping the disturbance. 

Kendall had been quite sick all the evening, and now, perhaps 
not altogether satisfied with the extremes to which the affair had 
been carried, retired to his room and went to bed. The next morn- 
ing there was a mound of stones covered with earth over the 
cellar- way, and, near by a large stack of newly mown hay, brought 
from an adjacent meadow. Under the windows, at the end of the 
passage in the building above, were piles of small stones. These 
Avere significant indications not only that the students did not in- 
tend to let the cattle out themselves, but might resist their uncon- 
ditional surrender by others. 

The morning exercises and recitations passed off in customary 
quietude. About eleven o'clock there was a visible movement 
among the citizens of the village, and a rumor circulated that they 
were preparing to release their imprisoned live stock by force. 
Nearly all the students in college collected in the main building, 
and, barricading the doors, were ready for defence. The faculty 
appeared in a body, and walking around the building, accosted the 
students standing in the windows, requesting some, and command- 
ing others, to open the doors. The general answer from those 
addressed was, that it would not be safe for them to attempt it. 
At length all the faculty retired, and soon afterwards Professor 



THE INVESTIGATION. 49 

Hubbard, a most amiable man mucb beloved by the students, ap- 
proached one of the end doors with an axe in his hand, and, unre- 
sisted, knocked out the panels. He then crawled in through the 
breach he had made, removed the fastening, and opened the door. 
The rest of the faculty then joined him, and, treating the students 
with the utmost courtesy, they took possession of the passages and 
sent word to the citizens that they might come and dig their cattle 
out. No aid was asked of the students in this operation. 

The faculty were greatly excited by these events, and showed 
signs of a disposition to inflict condign punishment upon the 
leaders therein. But their tone soon changed. Calling up a 
young man of irregular habits who had been recognized on the 
ground by one of the faculty, they required him to state the 
names of others who were present. In the hope of saving him- 
self, he named several of the most orderly young men in college, 
some of whom were brethren in the church with the President 
and professors. As soon as it was known that the inquisition was 
on foot, a meeting of students was held and a committee appointed, 
of whom Mr. Kendall was one, to prepare and send to the faculty 
a memorial setting forth the extenuating circumstances. This duty 
was performed. But the most effective step was, doubtless, the 
concerted determination of the orderly young men engaged in the 
affair to admit their participation and frankly state their reasons. 
The following is substantially the result of the examination of a 
church-member, one of those who had been required to undo the 
mischief of others, viz. : — 

President. Your name has been furnished us as one of those who 
took part in the recent riot. Is the charge true 1 

Student. It is. 

Pres. What could have induced you to take part in such a scanda- 
lous affair'? 

Stu. Your own injustice. I had always obeyed the regulations of 
the college, took no part in any of the mischievous frolics of other 
students, was punctual at recitation and studious to preserve the charac- 
ter of an upright and religious man. Notwithstanding all this, you 
put upon me and others like me the indignity of undoing the mischief 
of others, and subjected me to their taunts and sneers. Our friends 
sympathized with us in our natural indignation, and proposed, as the most 
appropriate mode of making known our resentment, to aid us in putting 
the cattle back again, and it was done. 



50 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

Pres. What apology have you to make for your participation in 
this affair? 

Stu. None whatever. 

Having been answered in this style by three or four of their 
most worthy students, the faculty made no further inquiry. They 
dismissed the young man first called up, and another who was 
seen to carry into the college building a plank with which one of 
the doors had been barricaded, imposing upon the others summoned 
a fine to pay for damages done to some of the cattle and to a stone 
fence, a rod or two of which had been used for filling up the cellar- 
way. A general contribution of about twenty-five cents by each 
student paid the fine, and thus the affair ended. It was a lesson 
to the faculty by which they doubtless profited in their subsequent 
conduct towards their more orderly pupils. 

About the same time a political excitement arose in the college, 
in which young Kendall participated. The party names of that 
day were Federal and Republican, the latter being then sometimes 
called Democratic. More than three fourths of the students 
belonged to the Federal party; but Kendall was a Eepublican. 
It was proposed to have a no-party celebration on the 4th of July, 
and a meeting was held to elect an orator and a poet. One of the 
most violent Federabsts was chosen as orator, and Mr. Kendall as 
poet. The latter, satisfied that with such an orator it would not 
be a no-party celebration, declined to serve, and resolved to have 
nothing more to do with the matter. But some of the Repub- 
licans determined to get up a separate celebration, and finally made 
arrangements to have it in Norwich, Vt., a Republican town op- 
posite Hanover on the west side of the Connecticut River. To 
furnish themselves with cannon for the occasion, a party from 
Norwich one night carried off the old iron gun which had long 
been a pet of the students, though they did not know to whom it 
belonged. The Federal students, as soon as they discovered the 
loss, became much excited, and determined to recover it, — not be- 
cause they needed it, there being mounted pieces in the village at 
their service, but to deprive the other party of its use. They 
traced it into Vermont, and as they thought to a house not far 
from the village of Norwich. At their request the owner suffered 
them to search his house ; but they found nothing, and returned to 
Hanover. Still believing that the gun was concealed in that 



THE STOLEN GUN. 51 

house, a large party the next day started for Norwich. Kendall 
had been bathing in the river, and on his way back to the 
college met the party near the bridge. Upon the invitation of 
their leader he turned and went with them to see the sport. As 
they approached the house in which the gun was supposed to be 
concealed, the owner met them and inquired what was their object. 
They replied that they desired to make further search in his house 
for the missing cannon. He said he had allowed them to search his 
house once, but could not have it ransacked by them every day, and 
he forbade them to enter or approach it. They then sent back to 
Hanover, and with the aid of a lawyer procured the issue of a 
search-warrant; but neither sheriff nor constable could be found 
in Norwich to execute it, — being Republicans, they had all dis- 
appeared. The day passed away with no other result than creat- 
ing an excitement among the people of Norwich. In the evening 
they collected in considerable numbers, and finding that several 
students had been left behind as spies, they chased some of them 
over the bridge, and making prisoners of others, lodged them in 
the garret of the suspected house, and placed a guard over them. 
Before morning, however, they were suffered to escape. 

The next day the excitement at Hanover was higher than ever, 
and more than a hundred men, including many citizens, gathered 
for the purpose of recovering the old gun. Their plan of action, 
by the advice of some considerate citizens, was changed. They 
sent a delegation to the Lieutenant-Governor of Vermont, living in 
Norwich, representing that the gun belonged to the State of New 
Hampshire, and asking him to interpose his influence to produce 
its peaceful surrender. Upon his declaring his readiness to com- 
ply with their request, if they would satisfy him of the justice of 
their claim, they submitted their evidence, which he deemed satis- 
factory. In a short speech he stated the case to the people of 
Norwich, and advised them no longer to insist on keeping a piece 
of property which belonged to the neighboring State. 

The gun had been concealed in the house which had been 
searched by the students on the first day of the excitement, but 
on the night of the second day it had been removed, rammed full of 
rotten stone, and buried in a turnip-patch which had been sown 
and harrowed over early the next morning. In compliance with 
the advice of the Lieutenant-Governor, the Norwich people showed 
the Hanoverians the grave of the gun, but declined giving any aid 
in its disinterment. 



52 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

While one party went to work in digging up the gun, another 
went back to Hanover and procured ropes with which to drag- 
it home., and powder for the purpose of firing it by way of 
triumph as soon as they should get it across the State line. 
But they found it impracticable speedily to remove the rotten 
stone with which it was charged ; and, not to be cheated out of their 
noisy triumph, they sent to the village for one of the mounted 
pieces. With their ropes they dragged the old gun along the 
ground and over the bridge, when they halted, fired several rounds, 
and shouted in the highest excitement. While every one at the 
college was listening to the distant uproar, the bell over their heads 
began to ring a merry peal. The Eepublicans said to each other, 
" Is it possible that our faculty are taking sides in this party 
row ? " They immediately inquired by what authority the bell 
was ringing, and was told it was by order of the Treasurer of the 
Corporation. Most of them, including Kendall, had so far looked 
on with unconcern, having considered the theft of the cannon as 
a not very reputable transaction. 

But this interference of the college authorities at once excited 
in every Kepublican bosom an universal feeling of indignant 
resentment. To show it in the only way obvious to them, they 
provided themselves with goose-quill squealers, reeds of wind in- 
struments, and anything at hand with which they could make a 
disagreeable noise, and went out upon the common in squads for 
mutual protection. 

It was now dark, and the Federalists were dragging their gun 
along the road from the bridge to the common, shouting as 
they marched. As soon as they entered upon the common they 
were saluted by a chorus of squeals and other noises as formidable 
as could well be made by thirty or forty young men whose hearts 
were in the cause. To drown their noise, the Federalists sent for 
a drum. Advancing to the centre of the common, they halted and 
gave out several toasts of a violent party character. Mr. Kendall 
has preserved one of them in his journal, with the name of the 
author. Let the name be forgotten ; the toast is as follows : — 

" May Democracy throughout the Union lurk in obscurity as on the 
Plain of Hanover." 

All were silent to hear the toast ; but as soon as each was given, 
one party shouted and drummed and the other squealed. Finally, 



COLLEGE HONORS. 53 

the Federalists moved across the common and deposited the gun in 
a cellar, shouting, yelling, and calling the Democrats opprobrious 
names, while the latter hung about with responsive squeals ; and 
these noises, with the ringing of the bell and the beating of the 
drum were enough to rouse the echoes' from the Granite Hills and 
the Green Mountains. 

The more moderate Eepublican students had not intended to 
join the Norwich celebration ; but the course pursued by the col- 
lege authorities converted them into active supporters of the 
movement. A cannon was procured from a neighboring town, and 
the party had their oration, dinner, and toasts. Their hilarity, 
however, was suddenly changed to sadness by a serious accident 
to their gunner. The piece was fired before he had entirely with- 
drawn the ramrod, by which means he lost a finger and suffered 
serious laceration of his hand, arm, and face. 

Mr. Kendall characterized the oration on this occasion as " not 
fit to be spoken by an American," being " too Frenchified " ; but 
the toasts prepared by a committee consisting of Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor Brigham and his classmates, Carter and Willard, he pro- 
nounced excellent. 

Without any effort on his part, Kendall had now acquired a 
high degree of popularity among the students. It was exhibited 
in his selection to deliver a quarterly oration before the Social 
Friends, three fourths of whom were bitterly arrayed against him 
one year before. He was also one of the number selected from 
his class as members of the Phi Beta Kappa. 

On the 11th of August died the Hon. John Hubbard, Professor 
of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy in Dartmouth College. 
Though not a man of brilliant talents, he was universally beloved 
and respected for his gentle disposition, his faithfulness as an in- 
structor, and his unimpeachable integrity. He left a widow and 
four children, two of whom were then members of the Freshman 
class. The property left by him was insufficient to support his 
family, who were objects of universal sympathy. The Junior 
class presented a mourning suit to the widow, which she received 
with uncontrollable emotion. 

On the 15 th of August the members of the Junior class were 
examined and admitted to the Senior standing. On the 22d was 
Commencement, and on the same evening Kendall started for 
home on horseback in company with his classmates, Howe and 



54 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

Ainsworth. The next day they reached Howe's residence in 
Jaffrey. Here, upon the invitation of his friend Howe, he 
intended to remain over the 24th for the purpose of ascending 
Monadnock mountain; but being deterred from that enterprise 
by clouds hanging around the head of the old monarch, he 
passed on to New Ipswich, where he was received by his friends 
with the most flattering cordiality. He was earnestly pressed to 
take charge of their school for the third season ; but he declined 
committing himself, in the hope of obtaining a more lucrative 
situation. Having spent several days with his relatives and 
friends in New Ipswich and Mason, he reached home on the 31st 
of August, where he was pained to find his mother very low with 
dropsy, from which there were but faint hopes of her recovery. 

On the 12th of September he attended a meeting of the Mid- 
dlesex Musical Society, at Townsend, and joined in their perform 
ances. This society and the Handel Society of Dartmouth College 
were making a concerted effort to change the character of the 
music then used in the churches of New England, and to that end 
had arranged to have a public exhibition at Concord, N. H, on 
the 19th day of that month. The reform proposed, was to sub- 
stitute the old-fashioned slow and solemn music for the bight, 
jangling fugues which were in general use, and it was hoped to 
effect a change in the popular taste by the public performance of 
the best psalm-tunes and other pieces written by the most cele- 
brated composers. At this meeting in Townsend information was 
received that a long-established Musical Society at Amherst, N. H., 
called the Handelian, had fallen into the ranks of the reformers. 

Several days were spent by Kendall in visiting his friends in 
Groton and Dunstable, and in collecting money for his father, after 
which he started for the college by way of Concord, N. H., spend- 
ing a day there to take part in the musical celebration. About 
forty performers were present, and though the day was rainy there 
was a large audience. An excellent oration on the object of the 
societies was delivered by the Rev. Samuel Worcester, of Salem, 
and his tribute to the memory of Professor Hubbard, who at the time 
of his death was President of the Handel Society and had pro- 
jected that meeting, drew tears from a large portion of the au- 
dience. The music was of a very high order, though not so perfect 
as the separate performances of the Handel Society. Although 
the societies had practised the same tunes preparatory to this ex- 



MUSICAL CELEBRATION. 55 

hibition, and each was very perfect in its way, yet, when they 
came to sing together, slight variances developed themselves, 
which, in a moderate degree, impaired the general effect. The ex- 
hibition, however, passed off with much applause. Of the male 
performers, Jonathan Curtis, and of the female, Miss Mary and 
Miss Annette Woodward, all members of the Handel Society, at- 
tracted particular attention and applause. 



CHAPTER III. 

On the 20th of October Mr. Kendall returned to college in 
company with his classmate, Jonathan Curtis, and the next day- 
engaged a room and board in a private house kept by a widow 
lady named Davis. 

On the 2d of November the appointments for Senior quarter- 
day were given out. According to custom, this was done by the 
class voting by ballot. Kendall was surprised to find himself 
elected to the first appointment, apparently by an unanimous vote. 
He was equally surprised at the elections to the second and some of 
the succeeding appointments, which fell upon young men deemed by 
him undeserving of the positions in the class thus assigned to them. 
Observing a cluster of students in a corner of the room, he ap- 
proached and found them looking over an entire list of appoint- 
ments already made out, and that the elections thus far were in 
accordance with the list. The thought at once flashed upon his 
mind, that there was a concerted scheme, well matured, to place 
certain young men in positions to which their merits did not en- 
title them, and that his name had, without consulting him, been 
placed at the head of the list as a cover of the meditated injus- 
tice to others. At his request the list was handed to him, and 
mounting a bench and inviting the attention of the assembly, 
he remarked, in a jocular manner, that somebody, it appeared, had 
already performed the service for which the class was called to- 
gether, and as they had thus far ratified the arrangement prepared 
to their hands, it seemed unnecessary to waste time in voting upon 
each case separately. He therefore moved that the entire list be 
adopted just as arranged. Though the managers looked blank 
and raised a feeble opposition, the motion wag carried by acclama- 
tion and a committee appointed to communicate the result to the 
faculty. Kendall immediately called on the President and in- 
formed him of the whole matter, stating that he did not consider 
it any honor to receive the appointment assigned to him by caucus 



THE BOY MATHEMATICIAN. 57 

management and expressing the hope that the entire proceedings 
would be set aside and the class directed to go into a new election. 
The faculty, however, recognized as legitimate the appointments 
which had been assigned by separate votes, and directed the class 
to reassemble and fill up the list in the same way. But few at- 
tended the second meeting, and the caucus managers voted them- 
selves, without exception, into the places which had been assigned 
them in the original list. Kendall had accomplished his object in 
satisfying every one that he had no hand in the caucus arrange- 
ment which placed him at the head of his class. But he exclaims 
in his journal : " Who, said I to myself, thought, Sophomore year, 
that these fellows would ever give the first appointment to ' Giles 
Scroggins ' ? " This was one of the nicknames applied to him dur- 
ing the "treating" excitement of 1809. He adds, "College popu- 
larity is variable as the wind." 

On the 3d of November the father of Zerah Colburn, the cele- 
brated boy mathematician, called with his son at Kendall's board- 
ing-house. In his journal Mr. Kendall says of this prodigy: 
" His father gives the following account of him. He was born six 
years ago the first day of last September. He appeared to know 
even less than common children when one year old. Last spring 
he was observed to be talking of figures with the other children, 
when he appeared to answer questions in the multiplication-table 
much more readily than his elders. He, however, attracted no 
particular notice until last August, when his father observing his 
readiness in figures, began to question him, and soon found that he 
was better acquainted with the multiplication-table than himself. 
The affair soon spread, and the boy was taken to Montpelier and 
Burlington and examined. Being poor, the father had determined 
to take his child to some of the larger towns and cities of the 
country in the hope of raising money to give him an education. 

" Professors Adams and Shurtleff examined the boy in private and 
afterwards in public. They were confounded. Professor Adams, 
himself an eminent mathematician, said he had never seen, heard, 
or read of anything like it. He could multiply together any two 
numbers under a hundred in less than a minute. He could tell, 
apparently without thought, how many days there are in any num- 
ber of years less than thirty, and in any number over thirty and up 
to a hundred upon a minute's reflection. After being told the 
denominations of weights and measures, he would reduce one to 



58 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

another with, the greatest readiness. He answered correctly the 
question, ' How many gills are there in three barrels ? ' The ques- 
tion, ' How many are 25 x 25 + 35 X 35 +45 x 45 1 ' he answered cor- 
rectly with little hesitation. He readily multiplied any number 
over a hundred by any number less. In less than a minute he an- 
swered correctly the question, ' How many days are there in seventy- 
three years 1 ' "What rendered his performances more wonderful was, 
that he did not know a figure when written, and could not count 
more than fifty. How he knew the names of larger numbers was 
a mystery, and he was sometimes embarrassed in making his an- 
swers understood. After he had stated correctly the number of 
days in a given number of years, he was asked how many hours 
there were. He said he did not know the number of hours in a 
day. On being told it was twenty-four he immediately gave a 
correct answer. 

" He was of the ordinary size, had a large head, red hair, blue 
eyes, a florid, healthy complexion, somewhat freckled, had five 
fingers (exclusive of thumbs) and was always in motion, even 
when calculating. On other subjects than numbers his remarks 
were sensible for a child of his age." 

It was understood that the faculty offered to take the boy and 
give him an education gratuitously ; but the father, without declin- 
ing the proposition, wished to exhibit his son in the large cities. 

On returning to college the next spring, Kendall fell in with 
Zerah Colburn and his father, in the stage between "Windsor and 
Hanover, returning home from a very successful money-making 
tour to Boston and more southern cities. Zerah and his father 
(who was a very ignorant man) had become entirely spoilt by the 
attentions and money which had been bestowed upon them, and 
by their impertinence and vanity made themselves very obnoxious 
to the other passengers. The desire of the father to have his son 
educated had been superseded by " the cursed lust for gold," to be 
accumulated by the exhibition of hjs son's wonderful talent, and 
in furtherance of this object he was then meditating a trip to 
Europe. Mr. Kendall never again fell in with Zerah or his father. 
It was understood, however, that the contemplated trip to Europe 
was performed and was highly ^successful ; but that Zerah's peculiar 
talent did not improve in proportion to his advance in years, and 
that when he became a man he was not pre-eminent for his mathe- 
matical genius. 



SCHOOL-TEACHING. 59 

It was the custom of the Society of Social Friends to select one 
of the Senior class to deliver an oration on the Monday or Tues- 
day preceding Commencement, and another to prepare a dialogue 
to be recited on the same occasion. The oration was considered 
the most honorable appointment. From indications hardly to be 
mistaken, Kendall believed he could have his choice of these ap- 
pointments ; but having at the time some poetical ambition, he 
preferred the second honor to the first, and though pressed to be a 
candidate for the oration with assurances of his election, he per- 
emptorily declined. The second appointment was assigned to him 
with entire unanimity. 

The 28th of November was Senior quarter-day, when Kendall 
performed the part which had been assigned to him by his class. 
Having undertaken to teach a school in Weston, Mass., which 
began on the 3d of December, he obtained leave of absence, and 
on the 30th of November left for home, which, after a rough 
stage-ride over frozen ground, he reached the next day. Resting 
one day, he rode to Weston on the 3d of December, and found 
that his school had met that day «,nd dispersed. 

This school he taught four months, commencing on the 4th of 
December. The entire number of children who attended during 
the winter was 85, and the average number in attendance exceeded 
60. Of the 85, 63 were learning to write, 21 were studying 
arithmetic, 19 English grammar, 9 geography, 2 Latin, and 1 
Greek. Often, also, little children were sent in who did not know 
their letters. It is very obvious that no man without an assistant 
could teach very thoroughly such a number of children in such 
diversified studies. The school had been very loosely governed, 
and at first was quite disorderly. At Mr. Kendall's request the 
school committee of the district visited the school, and in the 
presence of the children enjoined upon him the duty of exact- 
ing obedience and preserving order. Thus sustained, he soon 
succeeded, without the infliction of any severe punishments, 
in bringing the school under good discipline. A single instance 
of abstinence from punishment had a remarkable effect. A boy 
had committed some offence which excited his teacher, who called 
him up and reproved him in severe terms. He had taken hold of 
the boy's hand and raised his ruler for the purpose of ferruling 
him, when he suddenly threw the hand from him, saying : " Go to 
your seat, I am too angry to strike you." The children, most of 



60 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

whom had probably never been corrected except in anger, stared 
in wonder. 

It was only by classification that so large a number of children 
could be taught at all. There were four classes in reading and 
spelling, two in arithmetic, two in English grammar, and two in 
geography. The time allotted to teaching was six hours, three in 
the forenoon and three in the afternoon, with a short intermission 
at twelve o'clock. A recess of a few minutes, first of the girls and 
then of the boys, was allowed in the middle of the forenoon and 
again in the middle of the afternoon. To make and mend pens 
(steel pens being then unknown), set copies for the writers, and 
hear all these classes twice a day, was no small labor. The Latin 
and Greek scholars recited in the evening after the school was dis- 
missed. 

On the 29th of March, 1811, the school was examined by the 
clergyman of the town and the school committee, in the presence 
of a considerable number of the inhabitants. The teacher had 
kept in-tabular form, and laid before them, a statement showing 
the names and ages of all the children who had attended the school 
during the winter, the number of days each was absent, the pro- 
gress made by each in writing, arithmetic, geography, English 
grammar, and the languages ; in the first class, the number of words 
missed in spelling, and in the second, third, and fourth classes, the 
number of times each had been at the head. The examination 
was highly satisfactory, and tbe committee solicited Mr. Kendall 
to take charge of their school the next winter ; but having other 
views, he declined making any engagement. Though he fell ten 
days short of the stipulated time, the committee paid him for 
seventeen full weeks, — his wages amounting to eighty-five dollars. 

Though the winter in other respects had passed very agreeably, 
there was not that cordiality between the teacher and the people 
which existed at New Ipswich, nor the same degree of affection 
between him and his scholars. Among his new acquaintances 
was the Eev. J. Kendall, D. D., the clergyman of the town^with 
■whom he endeavored in vain to trace a relationship, though they 
did not doubt that they had descended from the same Engfieh -an- 
cestor. While Mr. Kendall was describing Zerah Colburn to Dr. 
Kendall, on mentioning his five fingers, — " Why," exclaimed the 
latter, " he is our cousin ! " He proceeded to say that he had never 
met with a person favored with such a superfluity of digits, whose 



FIRST HONORS. 61 

kinship to the Kendall family could not be established, and he re- 
quested his young friend to inquire what was the fact in this case. 
When he, Kendall, met Zerah and his father in the stage on his 
return to college the next spring, he made the inquiry and was 
informed that Zerah's grandmother was a Kendall. She married 
a Green, her daughter married a Colburn, who was the grandfather 
of Zerah, and thence he derived his five fingers. 

On the 30th of March Mr. Kendall returned home, and after 
spending about two weeks among his friends, reached Dartmouth 
College on the evening of the 13th of April. 

On the 24th of May the Senior appointments were given out, 
and Mr. Kendall had the unexpected pleasure of finding himself 
placed at the head of his class. The second honor in rank was 
assigned to Joseph Perry, the third to Daniel Poor, the fourth to 

Nathaniel H. Carter, the fifth to Fairfield, the sixth to 

Nathaniel Wright, the seventh to Jonathan Curtis, the eighth 
to Joseph Curtis, the ninth (a dialogue) to Samuel Woodbury and 

Crowell, the tenth (a dialogue) to Bean and Ether 

Shepley, the eleventh (forensic) to Bezaleel Cushman and 

Whipple, the twelfth (poem) to Morse. 

Had the duty of giving out the appointments devolved on Mr. 
Kendall himself, he would have assigned the first to Daniel Poor, 
and preferred several others to himself. It seemed to him impos- 
sible, that, laboring under so many disadvantages, he could entitle 
hirnself to the first rank in his class. Want of means had com- 
pelled him to be absent two whole terms and parts of several more. 
He had, indeed, entered college five times, four of them in con- 
sequence of forfeiting his connections by absence every year. 
Several branches of study he had pursued in winter evenings 
without a teacher, while keeping school. Though he thought he 
appeared well in every branch of study, he was yet conscious of 
superiority in none, and of inferiority in some. On the whole, he 
concluded that the faculty, in assigning the first rank to him, had 
made liberal allowances for the disadvantages under which he had 
labored. But his highest gratification, arose from*Tne congratula- 
tions^ of his classmates, all ofwliom seemed to concede that he 
merited the honor which he had received. 

This year the faculty took efficient steps to prevent, and did 
prevent, the practice of " treating " on Sophomore quarter-day, and 
the " Temperance men " of that day had the satisfaction of reflect- 



62 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

ing that the indignities to which two years before they had been 
exposed in the cause, had not been encountered in vain. 

There were two affairs in this portion of his college life from 
which Mr. Kendall deduced lessons for his future guidance in the 
outer world. One of them was a formidable conspiracy defeated 
by promptitude and firmness. The Society called the Philoi 
Euphradias was composed of young men selected from the Social 
Friends and United Fraternity, and was an object of envy aud 
hatred to a majority of the members of those two societies, who- 
had been passed over in making the selections. A conspiracy was 
formed, extending through both of those societies, whose object 
was the destruction of the Philoi Euphradias. The means by 
which it was proposed to accomplish this end was the adoption of 
a fundamental regulation prohibiting the members of the Friends 
and Fraternity from joining the Philoi, on the ground that the lat- 
ter was incompatible with the interests of the former. The scheme 
was thoroughly matured, and preparations made to broach it in the 
Social Friends, which then embraced about two thirds of the 
students. 

There was an unusually full meeting, and Mr. Kendall sat won- 
dering what could have occasioned so general an attendance, many 
young men being present who seldom appeared, and who took 
little interest in the society or its exercises. At length his old 
chum, T. C. Gardner, arose, made a short speech, and submitted a 
proposition prohibiting members of the Friends from joining the 
Philoi. He had said but a few words when Mr. Kendall compre- 
hended the cause of the full attendance, and perceived that there 
was a matured conspiracy, of which Gardner was the organ. He 
therefore promptly replied to Gardner's argument, denying the 
alleged incompatibility of interest and denouncing the proposition 
as an implied imputation upon the fidelity of those who were already 
members of the Philoi. He was followed by others of the Philoi and 
the conspirators ; but it was soon evident that the adoption of Gard- 
ner's proposition was a foregone conclusion. The vote was about 
to be taken, when Mr. Shepley, who was a Philoi, asked Mr. Ken- 
dall to step out with him. As soon as they were out of the room, 
Shepley asked, " What do you intend to do ? " " Leave the 
society," was the prompt reply. "So will I," said Shepley. 
When they returned to the hall the vote had been taken, and 
Daniel Poor, the President of the society, and a Philoi, was making 



WRITES A TRAGEDY. g3 

a speech, which he concluded by asking a dismission. He was 
followed in the same request by Kendall, Shepley, and several 
others. Poor directed the Secretary to put the vote on his applica- 
tion for dismission. He did so, but there was no affirmative re- 
sponse. Poor then rose and said he would not remain in the society 
under the imputation which their proceedings cast upon him, and 
if they would not dismiss him he would dismiss himself, where- 
upon he left the chair, took his hat, and walked out of the hall. 
Much confusion ensued. The members generally were much at- 
tached to the society, and the decisive course adopted by the 
Philois had not entered into the calculation of the conspirators. 
Many members flocked around Kendall and his friends, some of 
them shedding tears, disavowing any intention to impeach their 
fidelity, and begging them to remain in the society. They were 
inflexible. Finally a President fro tern, was elected, and Kendall 
stated that the only thing which would induce him to remain in 
the society, — and he believed every Philoi felt as he did, — was the 
rescinding of the resolution they had adopted. A motion to that 
effect was made and carried almost unanimously. A committee 
was then appointed to invite Mr. Poor to return into the hall and 
resume the chair. The ceremony was duly performed, and there 
the affair ended. 

In truth, the Philois were the flower of the society, embracing 
most of its officers, and most of those who infused talent into its 
performances and gave it character in the estimation of the com- 
munity. 

In pursuance of his appointment by the Social Friends, Mr. 
Kendall wrote a long tragedy, entitled " Palafox, or the Siege of 
Saragossa," the subject of which was the desperate defence of that 
city by the Spaniards against the armies of Napoleon. It was 
read to the society and approved. 

Nathaniel Wright, who had been appointed for a similar pur- 
pose by the United Fraternity, had also written a long tragedy. 
As botli could not be performed the same evening, a dispute arose 
between the two societies as to which should occupy the evening 
before Commencement, being Tuesday. That evening was greatly 
preferred to Monday, as many more strangers from abroad were 
likely to be in attendance. The Fraternity claimed Tuesday even- 
ing by right of prescription ; the Friends denied the claim, and 
urged the principle of alternation, the Fraternity having had Tues- 



64 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

day evening on the last similar occasion. The dispute grew so warm 
that the faculty, fearing a disturbance, gave notice that unless 
the two societies could adjust the matter between themselves, both 
plays would be suppressed. With the consent of the authors, the 
societies agreed that only the best of the two should be performed, 
and appointed a joint committee to examine them and make the 
selection ; but the committee divided, each branch deciding in 
favor of the work Avhich represented their own society. Each of 
the authors then submitted his production to the criticism of his 
competitor in the hope (not very reasonable, perhaps) that one 
might concede the superiority to the other ; but each very naturally 
preferred his own production. Wright's zealous defence of his 
own, and his extravagant criticism of Kendall's, suggested to the 
latter a mode of settling the controversy. Not doubting that his 
rival would sooner yield the point than have his play suppressed, 
he recommended to the Social Friends to pass, and send to the 
Fraternity, a resolution asserting their right to Tuesday evening, 
and their determination not to yield it, though the consequences 
should be the suppression of both plays ; his suggestion was adopt- 
ed, and the result vindicated his sagacity. 

This question being settled, Kendall proceeded to select perform- 
ers for the different parts of his tragedy, and provide their cos- 
tumes. He had never been in a theatre, and knew nothing about 
modern acting. His knowledge on the subject was derived alto- 
gether from books. His play, therefore, was on the ancient model, 
very long, with a prologue and epilogue. It was a work of much 
labor ; but at that period of his life he loved labor. 

During the 26th and 27th of August the several societies had 
their annual performances, which were not marked by any unusual 
incidents, except that when the Philoi Euphradias entered the 
meeting-house they were saluted by the baffled conspirators with 
the blowing of horns, yells, aud the ringing of the bell. On mo- 
tion of Mr. Kendall, the members of the society wore their medals 
during the day and evening in token of defiance. 

On the evening of the 25th the tragedy of the United Fraternity 
was performed. The manner in which it was received and the 
criticisms upon it had a depressing effect upon Kendall/filling him 
with apprehensions as to the fate of his own production. 

The dreaded evening of the 26th arrived. Mr. Kendall's ac- 
count of the performance, written at the time, is as follows : — 



COMMENCEMENT. 65 

"The prologue was well spoken. The performance commenced ; but 
the performers spoke so low as not to be heard throughout the house. 
Intelligence soon came from different parts of the audience, and the 
performers raised their voices. The play proceeded, not without laughter 
and tears from many of the audience. The music was appropriate, hav- 
ing been previously selected. Then followed the epilogue. It was per- 
formed to admiration by Heywood and Miltimore, and received with 
repeated bursts of applause. I myself performed the third part, and 
had the vain momentary satisfaction of a general clapping when I 
left the stage. I soon likewise had the satisfaction to learn that the 
audience placed it much before the play of last evening. Fatigued, and 
I can likewise add satisfied, with the transactions of the day and even- 
ing, I speedily retired." 

The next day "was Commencement. The salutatory oration by 
Mr. Kendall, being in Latin, was unintelligible to most of the au- 
dience, and was not considered by himself as possessing any pecu- 
liar merit. With two or three exceptions, the other performances 
were very indifferent. Bean refused to make any preparation to 
perform the part assigned him, apparently thinking he had been 
underrated in the distribution of the appointments. Jonathan 
Fairfield, for the same reason, resolved to disgrace the Commence- 
ment by disgracing himself. He appeared on the stage with his 
stockings about his heels, and his whole dress in a most slovenly 
condition. He took no notice of the President or Trustees, and 
spoke so low as hardly to be heard ten feet from the stage. His 
oration was on the " Liberty of the Press," and was made up of 
extracts from Junius, awkwardly put together. Once he pulled a 
paper from his pocket, and for some time read from it in a «most 
monotonous tone. The consequence of the conduct of Bean and 
Fairfield was, that both lost their degrees. As soon as the per- 
formances were over Mr. Kendall betook himself to his bed, being 
entirely exhausted by the business of the week. 

Thus ended Amos Kendall's college life. It was one of disap- 
pointments ; but his disappointments were honors. His honors 
were not the result of management, but came upon him unsought. 
He performed no act and concealed no opinion with the view of 
gaining any personal advantage. Always truthful and punctual 
in every college duty, he became popular without seeking popu- 
larity. Never was he absent from recitation without a sufficient 
excuse, and never but once from the services in the chapel. On 
5 



66- AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

that occasion the tutor had seen him in company with some ladies 
after the hour for evening prayer had passed, and when asked what 
excuse he had, he replied, " None at all, sir." The tutor smiled, 
and passed to the next delinquent. 

The following is a review of Mr. Kendall's college life, written 
by him in his journal at its close, and in it may be found the key 
to his entire subsequent career : — • 

"At this era the mind naturally reviews the incidents which have 
checkered my college course. I at first entered upon my collegiate 
studies with much diffidence in my own powers, but with an ambition to 
appear among the foremost. I soon found that popularity and excellence 
of scholarship are seldom connected, and that decision and firmness 
would best secure a person from the interruptions of the fools of dissi- 
pation. My first chamber-mate was too fond of company. I soon per- 
ceived that his associates were not suitable companions for one really 
desirous of acquiring knowledge. Though at first, from my ignorance 
of a college life, I had engaged in one or two trifling foolish adventures, 
I was soon freed from further vexation by a fixed and declared deter- 
mination to take no part in these heroic achievements. The consequence 
was, that my popularity, which at first was great, began to decline, and 
I was looked upon with an eye of suspicion. About the same time I 
had an invitation to join a secret club, afterwards called the Gumnasion 
Adelplwn, instituted for the promotion of friendship and mutual im- 
provement. This society, which comprised the best part of the class 
both in morals and knowledge, had a wonderful effect in uniting all its 
members in all the succeeding difficulties. In fact, it formed a phalanx 
which not all the sons of dissipation were able to break or terrify. Not- 
withstanding it consisted of fifteen or more members, and met weekly, 
even its existence was never known in college. Its effects were seen, 
but the cause was hidden. 

" At the beginning of Sophomore year my popularity had considera- 
bly declined. In the spring of that year commenced our attack upon 
the detestable habit of ' treating.' The open and decided part which I 
took in this quarrel gave a finishing blow to my popularity. I was 
stigmatized as an informer, nicknamed 'Giles Scroggius's ghost,' from my 
paleness of countenance, and had the mortification of seeing all these 
things written in fifty places on the college walls, and even in the chapel. 
But the effect was contrary to expectation. I affected to take no no- 
tice of it, and by treating every one with civility, soon had the satisfac- 
tion of seeing my enemies at my feet. Every one of them who had 
any sense of honor or propriety heartily detested the thing, and person- 



REVIEW OF COLLEGE LIFE. 67 

ally conversed with me, acknowledging themselves in fault. To the in- 
veteracy of my enemies I attributed my not being elected into the Philoi 
Euphradias at the first election, and I expected the same cause would 
close the avenues of the Phi Beta Kappa. But in the Junior year the tide 
changed, and I was elected into both of those societies. My friends or 
flatterers informed me that many considered me the first scholar in the 
class. This, I must confess, though contrary to my own opinion, some- 
what raised my vanity. The truth is, that at a university of this 
kind, a few glowing pieces of composition, with one or two public decla- 
mations, written and spoken with spirit, have more effect in raising the 
reputation of a student than the reasoning of a Locke, the application 
of a Newton, or the wisdom of a Solomon. Upon this tinsel foundation 
was my reputation in a great degree established. Not that I had paid 
no attention to the classics ; I had always made them my first object. 
But I am conscious of being excelled in that kind of knowledge by more 
than one of my classmates. Yet the class first, and afterwards the 
government, have honored me with the first appointments. The society 
of Social Friends assigned to me the writing of a tragedy, which was my 
desire in preference to any other honor at the disposal of the society. 
The activity and versatility of my mind and the vivacity of my imagi- 
nation have been mistaken for knowledge, and my reserve in not con- 
necting myself with any of the officers of government has carried an 
appearance of independence, and these causes, combined with the good 
opinion of most of the students, have enabled me to bear the palm from 
those more studious and more knowing than myself. Besides the knowl- 
edge of books, I have gained much by my residence at college. I have 
seen the maxim, ' Self-love, the spring of action, moves the soul,' 
exemplified in almost innumerable instances. I have seen that man's 
opinion of right is generally founded upon his interest ; that to make 
a man your friend, you must promote his interest ; that difference of 
opinion, inflamed by continual dispute, begets coldness and suspicion ; 
that honors often depend on popularity, and popularity on accommoda- 
tion and acquiescence ; but that the most stable kind of popularity — 
that which insures respect and lasting esteem — is founded upon decision 
of character. Yet this decision must be based on reason, and exercised 
with prudence. The man of decision is alone independent. It is re- 
markable to observe the effect of this quality. A word with him is as an 
action ; a promise, as a performance. The mass revere him, and never 
press beyond a denial. This I have seen completely exemplified in 
many of my classmates. Their characters are established, and their 
opinions, once expressed, are considered as deciding the course of their 
actions. They are never asked a second time, never urged. I have also 
seen the ill effects of the contrary disposition exemplified in numerous in- 



68 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

stances. They refuse, are asked again ; begin to question, are urged ; 
waver, are besought for God's sake ; yield, and thus expose themselves 
to the importunities of every needy vagabond and cunning intriguer. 
Their reward is only contempt." 

These were Mr. Kendall's opinions of himself and of mankind 
in general when he left college. He did not take a diploma, part- 
ly Because he was indifferent to the bauble, and partly because he 
disliked the President of the college. On the 30th of August he 
left Hanover, and passing through Jaffrey, New Ipswich, and 
Groton, reached home on the 1st of September. 

On a settlement with his father, it appeared that the entire cost 
of his education in fitting for, and going through college, exclusive 
of clothing, was a little over five hundred and seventy dollars, of 
which his father had advanced a little over three hundred. The 
residue was paid out of moneys received by him for keeping 
school. 

The subject of a profession had occasionally occupied his 
thoughts during his college career. His parents were anxious that 
he should fit himself for the gospel ministry ; but he did not feel 
conscious of those inward qualifications deemed essential in that 
work. To medicine and surgery he had an invincible antipathy. 
The only remaining profession was the law, for which he had little 
inclination. His tastes would have led him to devote his life to 
philosophical studies and practical mechanics, embracing a wide 
field of experiments. But from that course he was deterred by 
the necessity of earning his bread by some productive occupation. 
His father had announced that he could render him no further aid ; 
and a return to teaching seemed to be the only practicable course, 
as a means of present support and to enable him to study law. 
Understanding that the preceptorship of the Academy in Groton, 
Massachusetts, was vacant, he had, before Commencement, visited 
that place with the view of securing the situation. To obtain his 
aid and influence, he called on William Merchant Eichardson, Esq., 
then a practising lawyer in Groton, who had done business for his 
father, and broached the subject. Mr. Eichardson advised him to 
enter upon the study of law at once, remarking that to teach, as a 
temporary expedient, was to throw away a portion of one's life. 
He said he had a student in his office and boarding in his family 
whom he had agreed to trust for his tuition and board until he 
should be able to pay him, and also allowed him certain perquisites 



BECOMES A STUDENT OF LAW. 69 

which enabled him to pay for his clothing ; that the time of this 
young man would he out in a few months ; that he would then 
receive Mr. Kendall into his office and family on the same terms ; 
and that if, in the mean time, Mr. Kendall could procure hoard 
elsewhere, he might enter his office at once. This generous offer 
Mr. Kendall decided to accept. 

Having some money left of his last winter's earnings, and from 
the sale of a number of books for which he had no further use, he 
made an arrangement with his former preceptor, Caleb Butler, for 
board in his family, and on the 4th of September, 1811, entered 
Mr. Eichardson's office as a student of law. On this occasion 
he says in his journal: "A new field now opens to my view, 
indeed boundless. Who can look upon so many volumes of 
commentaries, institutes, digests, and reports, without discourage- 
ment ? " 

Mr. Kendall's classmate and friend, Samuel "Woodbury, having 
taken charge of Groton Academy, became his fellow-boarder and 
bed-fellow at Mr. Butler's. 

On the 25th of September there was an exhibition of the music- 
reform societies at Amherst, 1ST. H., then consisting of the Middle- 
sex, the Handel, the Handelian of Amherst, and another from 
Concord, N". H. The day was rainy ; but, nevertheless, the audi- 
ence was numerous and brilliant. The principal pieces performed 
after a prayer and oration, were the anthem Lord God of Israel, 
Old Hundred, Wantage, Melton, Mowbray, and the Chorus of the 
Grand Hallelujah. Though somewhat ill, from the effect of vacci- 
nation about ten days before, Mr. Kendall took part in this exhibi- 
tion, which passed off with much Sclat. His arm becoming much 
swollen and inflamed, producing frequent recurrence of violent sick- 
headache, he returned to his father's house three days after the ex- 
hibition, where he remained for two weeks. The time was spent 
chiefly in remodelling his tragedy and introducing female charac- 
ters, none then being allowed upon the stage at Dartmouth College. 
His friends professed to think very highly of this tragedy, as well 
before it was remodelled as afterwards, and some of them advised 
him to offer it to the managers of the Boston Theatre. This excited 
a hope that he might, by that expedient, raise money enough to en- 
able him to study law without accepting the perquisites offered him 
by Mr. Richardson, and he determined to try the experiment. Hav- 
ing digested his plan, he visited Boston, sent his play to one of the 



70 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

managers of the theatre by the hands of a servant, with an anony- 
mous note requesting him, if the play was approved, to make pro- 
posals within a week in a manner pointed out, and if not, to hold 
it until called for. Nearly two weeks passed, and nothing came 
from the manager, when Mr. Kendall wrote to his old chum, Jona- 
than Fowle, who lived in Boston, requesting him to call and ascer- 
tain the fate of his play. The following is Mr. Kendall's account 
of the result : — 

" Xovember 29th. Received for answer from Fowle that he had ob- 
tained the copy ; that Mr. Powell (the manager) said they had a num- 
ber of new plays for this season ; that mine was too long by one third ; 
that he objected to the too frequent repetition of pa, ma, grandpa, etc., 
as childish, and said that the whole character of ' Little Boy ' was too 
trifling for tragedy ; that a certain something was wanting to produce 
stage effect ; that he advised me to lay it before some judge of theatri- 
cals ; and he concluded by observing that, with such alterations as my 
judgment would suggest, it might be brought forward next winter. I 
was somewhat disappointed ; but soou took my resolution to do nothing 
more about it for the present. But if I should hereafter be disposed, I 
may once more attempt to please these gentlemen. From my inexper- 
ience, any attempt at first appeared like presumption, and though my 
friends were sanguine, I could never assure myself of final success. 
But I wanted money, and acted upon this proverb : ' Nothing venture, 
nothing have.' The result may be of advantage to me in confining my 
mind more to my studies." 

Though Mr. Kendall afterwards wrote another tragedy, entitled 
" The Fall of Switzerland," he never again offered any production 
of his to a theatrical manager. 

For want of money to pay for his board, Mr. Kendall spent the 
winter of 1811-12 at home, seeing very little company and devot- 
ing himself to his studies. The law books which engaged his 
attention were Blackstone's Commentaries, Coke on Littleton, and 
Bacon's Abridgment. He says in his journal : " My common 
lesson is eighty pages, thirty in the forenoon, thirty in the after- 
noon, and twenty in the evening. Too much, I am sensible ; but 
I have scarcely anything else to do. I cut wood about three quar- 
ters of an hour, read a few propositions of Euclid and a few pages 
of Stewart's Philosophy." He also amused himself with noting 
down projects of literary works and plays as they occurred to 
him, which he called his Air-Castles. 



AVAR WITH GREAT BRITAIN. 71 

At this period political feeling ran very high. On receiving a 
letter from his friend Shepley, advising him to enter upon the 
business of an editor, Mr. Kendall noted down the followino- 
observations : — 

" Though this business is not altogether agreeable to my ambition, 
his suggestions have led me to consider the practicability of a coalition 
between the reasonable men of both parties in the State. Party spirit 
has indeed arisen to a most alarming height. Nothing will satisfy our 
flaming demagogues but the prostitution of every establishment in 
which the opposite party have property or influence. I scarcely know 
how to choose. Although my principles as well as interests incline me to 
the Democratic or Eepublican side, I am not yet prepared to sacrifice 
my conscience and every principle of moral honesty to the unhallowed 
zeal of any party. Happily, I am not yet to enter on the theatre of 
public life, and though my ambition leads me to the active scenes of 
the legislature, my first design is to make myself a lawyer." 

About this time Avere published the letters of John Henry, a 
British spy, who visited Boston in the time of the embargo of 
Jefferson's administration, for the purpose of promoting a dissolu- 
tion of the Union and the establishment of a Northern Confeder- 
acy. Having read them, Mr. Kendall remarked in his journal, 
" They are a proof of the desperate designs which then actuated 
the leading Federalists." 

It was not until the 25th of March, 1812, that Mr. Kendall 
resumed his residence in Groton, and he was enabled to do so then 
only by the liberality of Mr. Eichardson, who lent him money 
without security to pay for his board. 

Mr. Eichardson was then a member of Congress from the Mid- 
dlesex district of Massachusetts, elected by the Democratic party. 
He was an honest and upright man, and in talents above medioc- 
rity. He was opposed to the embargo and other restrictive meas- 
ures of Jefferson's administration, though they were supported by 
his party in general. His allegiance to his party, like that of 
many other democrats of that day, was secured by the violent and 
unpatriotic language and acts of the Federal leaders. 

June 23d, 1812, Mr. Kendall records : — 

" This day arrived in town the declaration of war by the United 
States against Great Britain. It was issued on the 18th inst. At 
length we are forced into the mighty conflict which has so long desolated 
Europe. The event, God only knows. Had it been consistent with our 



72 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

honor and the preservation of our rights to have sided with Great Brit- 
ain, it would have been much more consonant to the feelings of every 
friend of liberty. But her infatuated cabinet seem bent on destruction. 
May the God of peace avert from us civil commotion, lead our armies 
to victory, and soon restore our nation to honorable tranquillity." 

On the 26th he writes : — 

" The Repertory of this day (a Boston Federal newspaper) plainly 
advises Massachusetts to withdraw from the Union rather than engage 
in the war. The House of Representatives (of Massachusetts) have 
taken some measures which bear an appearance hostile to the general 
government, and are now debating an address to the people. It can 
hardly be conjectured to what lengths their madness will carry the 
Federal party, but I am inclined to think their rage will soon subside. 
Were their leaders sure of being seconded by the people, a separation 
of the Union would be but the work of a day. But cursed be the man 
who lifts his hand for this nefarious purpose." 

On the 20th of July there was a National Fast, proclaimed by 
the President upon the recommendation of Congress. Mr. Ken- 
dall's anticipations as to the services of that day were recorded as 
follows : — 

" One cannot reflect without pain on the mockery which must this 
day be offered to the Almighty by a large portion of the clergy of New 
England. These deluded men seem to have abandoned all the rules 
of common prudence, and seem to believe that on a man's politics 
depends not only his honesty, but the eternal salvation of his soul. 
They forget the maxims of charity inculcated by oar religion, and treat 
a large part of their fellow-citizens as outcasts and ministers of Satan. 
Did the consequences extend no further than their political influence, 
their acrimony would be comparatively innocuous. But a man will not 
tamely be called a villain, even by his minister, nor will he ever put 
confidence in him, who he believes makes his discourse the vehicle of 
lies and sedition. The sacred desk should be unpolluted by party rage ; 
the mouth that pours forth the sweet promises of salvation and incul- 
cates Christian charity and meekness, should never be defiled with the 
epithets of party scurrility or violent anathemas against national rulers. 
But this is not confined to one party. The delusion is general. The 
Federalists, to be sure, are most numerous, and at present most violent. 
The late State Fast has left many lasting specimens of their folly. If 
the people were united, it might be more excusable ; but as it is, a portion 
of the congregation first disbelieve, then hate, and at length desert their 



POLITICAL PREACHERS. 73 

religious instructor. It is a serious truth, that men's political prejudices 
are stronger than their religious opinions. Doubtless many of the clergy 
sincerely believe that while they are hurling anathemas on their fellow- 
citizens, they are engaged in the service of God. The event will prob- 
ably try their sincerity. It cannot be supposed that the Democratic 
party, should they again hold the reins (in Massachusetts) will be dis- 
posed to patronize a body of men from whom they receive only exe- 
cration." 

Mr. Kendall's anticipations were fully realized. Denunciations 
of the President and Congress took the place, in many a New 
England pulpit, of humble petitions for the safety of the country 
and the success of its arms. The sermon in Groton was a rank 
specimen. Mr. Bichardson, who had in Congress voted for the 
war, though not a member of the church, was a constant attendant 
upon public worship, and by presents, as well as by cheerful pay- 
ment of his tax, contributed liberally towards the support of the 
clergyman. He was at meeting on the National Fast Day. The 
clergyman's text was, " Ye are of your father, the Devil ; and the 
works of your father ye will do." The theme of his discourse was 
a comparison of the President of the United States to Beelzebub, 
the Prince of Devils, and the members of Congress who voted for 
the war, to the subordinate devils who do his bidding. Mr. Rich- 
ardson heard him through ; but when out of the meeting-house, 
though not a profane man, he turned and swore that he would 
never enter its doors again until the clergyman atoned for that 
discourse. 

This clergyman and many others taught their families and 
friends to believe that all Democrats were irreligious profligates, 
and it was amusing for Mr. Kendall and Mr. Woodbury to hear 
from ladies whom they visited the cautions conveyed from that 
quarter about associating with them because they were Democrats, 
though Woodbury was a member of the church. 

The result of the rabid interference of the Congregational 
clergy with politics, in Massachusetts, was the abolition of the 
constitutional and legal provision for their support by a general tax, 
and it was one of the principal agencies in building up societies 
of other denominations and sowing religious discord where all had 
been of one faith. 

In October, 1812, Mr. Kendall, for the first time in his life, 
mustered twice with a militia company; but on both occasions 



74 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

was so completely exhausted that he gave up all idea of encoun- 
tering the fatigue of a regimental muster which was to follow. 
The incidents on that occasion, as far as he was concerned, he thus 
records : — 

" Instead of doing military duty this day, I became gallant, and in 
the afternoon conducted two ladies to the field in a chaise. Soon after 
our arrival a sham-fight commenced, and was continued for some time 
with spirit. Suddenly the firing ceased, and there was a cry that a 
man had been shot. I had retired to a road in full view of the field, 
and was seated in the chaise with the young ladies. The wounded 
man was borne past us so near as to touch the chaise. The very idea 
had such an effect upon me, that though I turned my head when he 
came near, and did not even see him, I almost fainted. I endeavored to 
conceal my weakness, but believe it was observed by every one present. 
We were much shocked, and soon set out on our return. My sensations 
at the sight, or even the idea of blood, are altogether surprising. Even 
when a child I always ran and hid when a hog, a cow, or even a hen 
was killed. Since I became a man, although I am conscious of no 
dread, the sight of blood, and sometimes the idea of it, diffuses a mist 
over my eyes. I sweat profusely, and become helpless as an infant. 
The field of battle is no place for me. If I cannot carry a gun half a 
day, or see a wounded man without fainting, farewell to the tented field." 

The wounded man on this occasion had the calf of one of his 
legs badly shattered by a ramrod, carelessly fired by one of the 
opposite party. 

"What active mind has not perplexed itself with the fascinating 
idea of " perpetual motion " ? Amos Kendall's was not an excep- 
tion. He invented and actually constructed a machine which he 
was quite sure would accomplish the great desideratum. It was 
based on the idea that if weights operating on a wheel could be 
made to ascend nearer the centre than they shonld descend, there 
would be a gain of power. By his machine, a weight was made to 
ascend within one inch of the centre and to descend six inches 
from that point. It was finished, and equal weights applied, one to 
ascend within an inch of the centre, and the other to descend on the 
opposite side six inches therefrom, which ought to have produced 
rapid motion, — ought it not ? But it would not move at all ! 
In a moment the fallacy of the device stood confessed. Though 
the weights were in fact at different distances from the centre, 
their bearings were practically at the same distance. He at once 



"GERRYMANDERING." 75 

threw away his machine, wondering that his mind could have 
been so easily deluded. 

In January, 1813, Mr. Kendall spent several days in Boston on 
a visit to Jonathan Fowle, his college chum. The following are 
some of his recorded reminiscences of that visit : — 

"January 27th. This day the Legislature met. There was a 
quorum, and the Governor's message was delivered. It was short, and 
that was perhaps its principal good quality. I could not see much 
majesty in the collected dignity of the State. They looked much as if 
some blind angel had thrust down his hand, and by the sense of feelino- 
picked up a man here and another there, just as his hand happened to 
touch them, and, tossing all into the State House together, said to the 
people, Lo, your rulers I Above the Speaker stands the bust of Washing- 
ton, which I could but look upon with reverential awe. Ah, thought I, 
how he would shake his head could he but hear many of the resolutions 
which have been adopted in this House. Opposite to him, on the other 
side, hangs a great codfish ! I was generally pleased with the emble- 
matical ornaments of the House ; but this contrast of a codfish with 
Washington struck me as ludicrous in the extreme. The Senate Cham- 
ber is a beautiful room ; but I could not help reflecting on the political 
villany by which many of the Senators have obtained their seats." 

The " political villany " here alluded to was an act of Mr. Ken- 
dall's own party, by which they attempted to secure a majority in 
the Senate, though a large popular majority might be against them. 
Having had a majority in both houses of the Legislature, and 
apprehending that the power of the State, if wielded by Federal 
hands, would, in the impending war, be exerted to embarrass the 
general government, they rearranged the Senatorial districts, and 
by giving them most awkward shapes, and assigning to many towns 
the most unnatural connections, threw those having heavy Federal 
majorities into the same districts, and distributed those having 
Democratic majorities so as to make the latter most effective. In 
this manner they enabled about a third of the people to elect a 
majority of the Senate. 

Mr. Kendall was one of the many Democrats who did not think 
the end justified the means, and utterly condemned this piece of 
management as not only wrong in itself, but calculated by its 
palpable injustice to alienate honest men and increase the bitter- 
ness and power of the party it was designed to hold in check. 
The Federal party made the most of this great Democratic error. 



76 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

Among other means, they got up and inserted in their newspapers 
a cut containing a tolerably fair representation of one of the dis- 
tricts, somewhat in the shape of a crane, encircling with a narrow 
neck another district from the sea on one side to the sea on the 
other, and this they called a " Gerrymander," Gerry being the name 
of the Democratic governor. The result was, that at the next elec- 
tion the Federal party carried the election of the Governor and a 
large majority of the House of Representatives, and at the second 
election a majority of the Senate also. It was the intermediate 
session of the Legislature to which Mr. Kendall's journal has 
reference. 

On a subsequent day Mr. Kendall listened with great interest 
to a debate in the Senate upon a question, Avhether officers in the 
army of the United States could rightfully hold seats in that body. 
Two of the Democratic Senators, Tuttle and Eipley, had been ap- 
pointed colonels in the regular army, one of whom had taken his 
seat in the Senate. There was at that time nothing in the Con- 
stitution of Massachusetts or of the United States which rendered 
a seat in the Senate and an appointment in the United States army 
incompatible, and the argument rested entirely upon the incon- 
gruity of the two relations. The lobby of the Senate was crowded. 
The speech of Harrison Gray Otis was a superb display of elo- 
quence, but full of bitterness and sarcasm. A plain Democratic 
member, named Stetson, alluding to the rumor then afloat, that 
Otis had been too intimate with John Henry, said in his reply, 
that he thought those who were ready to fight the battles of their 
country were quite as much entitled to seats in that body as those 
who had been closeted with British spies. Otis sprang to his feet 
and said that any man who charged him with having been closeted 
with a British spy was a scoundrel. He sat down amidst the ap- 
plause of the spectators and cries of order. Of this debate Mr. 
Kendall says in his journal : " The speech of Mr. Otis was superior 
in manner to any I ever heard ; but he displayed too much illib- 
erality and contempt for his opponents. The young Mr. Lincoln 
made a truly Republican speech which did honor to his principles 
as a man and a patriot." 

By the entire Federal and a portion of the Republican vote, led 
by Mr. Lincoln, the seats of Colonels Tuttle and Ripley were de- 
clared vacated. 

For the first time in his life Amos Kendall, during this visit to 
Boston, saw the inside of a theatre. He says : — 



FIRST VISIT TO A THEATRE. 77 

" On entering the building I was for a moment lost. Everything was 
new and brilliant. But as soon as I listened to the actors the illusion 
vanished. I saw nothing but the fiction, and sank into disgust. The 
tragedy was ' Alexander, or the Rival Queens.' Mr. Holman in ' Alexan- 
der,' his daughter in ' Statira.' In judging of such things, I am the sim- 
ple child of nature, and therefore should not perhaps be allowed to criti- 
cise. I cannot conceive what gives reputation to Mr. Holman as an 
actor. His voice is harsh, his articulation indistinct, and sometimes he 
speaks excessively loud. His gestures are not strikingly expressive, 
and he has a heaving of the bosom which, to me, appears unnatural and 
painful. He did tolerably well in a few instances ; but I could not 
forget that it was Mr. Holman and not Alexander. Miss Holman. in 
one or two scenes, totally absorbed me. Perhaps my eyes were wet. 
The scenes were tender, and love was the subject. With these excep- 
tions, my disgust was far greater than my pleasure. I was much better 
pleased with the afterpiece, which was the ' Forty Thieves.' The scenery 
was brilliant and many of the characters well supported." 

" In the intervals of the play I took some notice of the architecture 
and ornaments of the building. There is one thing which, though far 
different, put me in mind of the codfish at the State House. In front 
of the stage, on the arch above, is the motto, ' To hold the mirror up 
to nature.' This is well enough ; but directly beneath it is a little 
angel sitting on a cloud, holding a looking-glass in one hand and pointing 
at it with the other. As the motto is a figurative expression, as broad 
in its significance as nature itself, this diminutive attempt to illustrate 
it struck me as very ludicrous." 

The churches of Boston also commanded a share of Mr. Ken- 
dall's attention during this visit. He heard Mr. Kirkland, Presi- 
dent of Harvard College, Mr. Channing, Dr. Griffin, Mr. Holley, 
and a Catholic bishop. In relation to the three latter he says : — 

"In the forenoon I attended the Roman Catholic meeting. The 
house was ornamented as at Christmas. On entering, I felt a pleasing 
emotion ; but there was nothing in it like devotion or reverence. Those 
evergreens, though they cast a pleasing gloom around, would better 
become a hall of revels than the church of God. The sermon was ex- 
cellent ; but the music was harsh and unintelligible, the ceremonies 
ridiculous, and to me almost a profanation. I should have no objection 
to their pictures ; they appear to me to be well calculated to inspire 
devotion. I know that an ignorant people might degenerate into a 
worship of the pictures themselves; but of this I think there is at 
present little danger. 



78 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

" In the afternoon I went to Mr Holley's church. Church ! it might 
as well be called a forum ; for it bears nothing of Christianity but the 
name. His subject was ' The Passions' and he made a very good oration. 
He appears to be a mere speculator, with much eloquence, considerable 
talents, and no religion. The young and dissipated attend his preach- 
ing because he preaches such liberal doctrines. In the evening I heard 
D. D. Griffin. What a contrast ! Nearly equal in eloquence, their prin- 
ciples are as opposite as black and white. The latter would be my 
minister in preference to any other in Boston." 

This D. D. Griffin was, in his day, the champion of the old Puri- 
tan faith against the inroads of TJnitarianism, and Mr. Holley was 
one of the most latitudinarian professors of the latter creed. He 
afterwards figured awhile as President of the Transylvania Uni- 
versity in Kentucky, where Mr. Kendall came in contact with 
him. 

Mr. Fowle was a widower ; his family consisted of himself, his 
son Jonathan, and three daughters. The latter's treatment of Mr. 
Kendall was most cordial, and the conversation on both sides most 
frank. He freely criticised their beaux, some of whom appeared 
to his plain country perceptions to be very deficient both in brains 
and in dignity of manners. They said two thirds of their beaux 
were of that character. Then said he, "I pity the ladies." 
" Truly," said they, " the ladies are to be pitied ; for these fellows 
think themselves agreeable." 

On the 5th of February Mr. Kendall returned to Groton. 
While in Boston, he had read a history of Switzerland, and con- 
ceived the idea of a tragedy, based on the conquest of that country 
by the French during their revolution. After his return from 
Boston he digested a plan and wrote a tragedy of three acts, which 
he called " The Fall of Switzerland " ; but he was so little satisfied 
with it that he concluded his genius did not lie in that line, and 
never made another effort. 

During the residue of the year 1813 Mr. Kendall's studies were 
much interrupted by the business of the office, which devolved on 
him as the oldest student. He had charge of the post-office ; 
received, made up, and despatched the mails, delivered the letters 
and papers, and made out the accounts. He was frequently sent 
on business to the neighboring towns, and employed in collecting 
office dues. 

His first vote was given in March, 1813, and it was an illegal 



HIS FIRST VOTE AN ILLEGAL ONE. 79 

one. The election was for Governor. The Constitution of Massa- 
chusetts then contained a moderate property qualification for 
voters, and Mr. Kendall had no property whatever. There was a 
Federal student in the office who was equally poor. Both of their 
names had been entered on the list of voters, by what authority 
Mr. Kendall never knew. The Federal student went up to vote, 
when Mr. Richardson proposed to Mr. Kendall to go up and " kill 
his vote." He objected that he was not a voter. Said Mr. Rich- 
ardson, " I will make you a voter," and handed him a sufficient 
sum of money, telling him to show it if his right should be ques- 
tioned. He voted without being challenged, and returned the 
money. Of this transaction he says in his journal, " If I had had 
time for reflection, I know not what I should have done under the 
circumstances ; but I am satisfied I ought to have declined." 

In May an epidemic called the lung-fever prevailed extensively 
in Groton. Mr. Richardson was seized with it while making prep- 
arations for a journey to "Washington. He was taken ill on the 
10th, and on the 21st Mr. Kendall writes as follows : — 

" Mr. Richardson continues dangerously sick. He is himself impressed 
with the idea that he shall never recover. Mr. Woodbury and I called on 
him to-day, when he faintly said he did not know that he could say any- 
thing that would do us any good, and was silent. He lay like a dying 
man. I have seldom experienced more painful emotions. He was a 
man whom I ardently esteemed. His wife leaned over him in tender 
compassion, her eyes glistening with the starting tear. I rose and left 
the room, — and left it, too, with the full conviction that he would soon 
be no more. His wife is one of the best of women. Not an angel 
could be more tenderly careful. She loves him as her own life, and 
should he die 

" To a feeling man, at such a time, it must afford a pleasure next to 
the joys of heaven to see one whom he tenderly loves so kind, so 
attentive, and so much interested in his safety. 0, -I would have a wife, 
if not to make my well hours more happy, at least to soothe me on the 
bed of sickness." 

On the night of the 22d, however, Mr. Richardson's disease took 
a favorable turn, and he slowly recovered. 

Mr. Kendall had for several nights watched with Mr. Richardson 
and others, and had been much in the atmosphere of the epidemic. 
On the evening of the 2d of June he felt an unusual depression 
and weakness, which he attributed to having taken cold. Simple 



80 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OP AMOS KENDALL. 

remedies were resorted to, but with no effect. The next morning, 
after putting the office in order, he was standing at a desk, with a 
book before him, when he began to feel faint. Supposing it was 
the effect of standing, after considerable exercise before breakfast, 
he sat down at a table. The faintness increased, and, repairing to 
Mr. Eichardson's house, he sent for a physician, who said he was 
threatened with the fever, and attempted to break it up by an emetic. 
Three doses were required to move his stomach, and then the vio- 
lent retching caused the blood to gush from both his nostrils. He 
then felt better, but his strength was gone. That his bed might be 
made up, he rose, walked a few steps to a chair, and almost as soon 
as seated fainted away. He was soon restored by the efforts of 
Mrs. Eichardson and her daughter, and helped to the bed. It was 
indeed the lung-fever, but not of the severest type. For a couple 
of days he had some headache, but after that, though as weak 
as an infant, he felt no pain. Any considerable noise, however, 
agitated him in a most extraordinary manner. The following are 
extracts from his journal, brought up from memory after he 
became able to write : — 

"June 7th. Was this day visited by the Rev. Mr. Chaplin, minister 
of this place. He sat down in my chamber and conversed with Mr. 
Richardson, until I was very much exhausted by their noise. I called 
my mother, and told her I could not bear it. She spoke to Mr. Richard- 
son, and he attempted to draw off the old gentleman. But he, not un- 
derstanding my situation, sat down by the bedside and gave me much 
good advice, but much to the injury, at least, of my body. Nor can I 
think it did much good to my soul ; for being in a quiver of nervous 
excitement, I could not help wishing every word the last 

" Here I cannot help remarking that incalculable injury is often done 
to sick persons by the mistaken kindness of friends. They sympathize 
in their friends' distress, and think they can be useful only in crowding 
around their bedside. 

" That night and the next day were hardly sufficient to allay the 
disturbance caused in my nervous system by the mere noise of Mr. 
Chaplin's conversation. 

" I could not help feeling gratified at the interest which the people 
of this place in general showed in my welfare. They suspended ringing 
the bell on my account, and if any noise happened to arise in the street, 
it was immediately stilled on information of its injurious effects. . Many 
called to see me on the first days ; but these calls were also suspended 
for my benefit." 



EXTRACTS FROM HIS JOURNAL. —SICKNESS. 81 

Mr. Kendall's mother had been sent for on the second day of his 
illness, and nursed him most tenderly throughout. On the 13th he 
was able to sit up a few minutes, and thenceforward gained rapidly 
until the 19th, when, with his father and mother, he returned to the 
paternal roof. He was now well, though very weak, and his mouth 
was sore from excessive salivation. Though he returned to Groton 
after five days' rambling about in Dunstable in pursuit of renewed 
strength, it was not until the 4th of July that he felt himself com- 
petent to resume his ordinary studies and labors. The following 
is his hasty review of the incidents and reflections attendant upon 
his sickness and recovery : — 

" I am under great obligations to Mr. and Mrs. Richardson, though 
the former started for Washington at the end of the second week of my 
sickness, and the latter was taken ill the thkd day, and continued 
almost as sick as myself until I left Groton. Her illness was probably 
brought on by her too careful attention to her husband and myself. 

" Although I always believed I should recover, I often thought it not 
improbable that death was near, and contemplated it accordingly. It 
had no terrors, and sometimes I could almost have wished it. The 
affliction of my friends and the debts which I owe my benefactors were 
the principal things which gave me pain. Without any fixed, unwaver- 
ing faith, I could have trusted myself to my Creator and calmly 
plunged into that eternity which generally appears so dreadful. I 
know nothing worth living for. No particular tie binds me to the 
world. My hopes of domestic happiness, which are the dearest pleasure 
of life, had left me ; fame appeared too uncertain and too unsatisfactory 
to be worth my pursuit ; and as for riches, I never thought of them. 
Yet was I unaccountably cheerful, especially when sickest, and some- 
times even inclined to be merry. With reviving life my hopes revived, 
and I am now the same bustling animal as before. 

" To my parents my obligations can never be requited. Never shall 
I forget the pleasure with which my father grasped my hand on finding 
me better. Joy sparkled beneath his gray locks ; it showed his love and 
the concern he had felt. When leaving home on my return to Groton, 
I told my mother I did not know how I should repay her for the care 
she had taken of me ; her ej'es filled with tears, and she could only bid 
me adieu." 

While convalescent Mr. Kendall indulged somewhat in his poetic 
vein. The " Port Folio " published at Philadelphia, had offered 
a premium of one hundred dollars for the two best naval songs. 
With little hope of success he determined to compete for this pre- 



82 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

mium. He wrote several pieces which were much praised by his 
friends, Kichardson and Woodbury, and sent two of them and some 
other scraps to the " Port Folio," but he never heard from them. 
When the prize poems made their appearance, Mr. Kendall wrote : 
" I am not disappointed, though I was not without hopes." Of the 
successful song, called " The Pillar of Glory," he said, " it has too 
much of that iminteUigible swell so common in Paine's poetry, and 
is not so good as another song of the same author, also set to 
music and published in the same number." Of the other piece he 
said : " The ode to which the other prize is assigned, notwithstand- 
ing the very warm commendations of the editors, I must pro- 
nounce, in my opinion, a tissue of bombastic nonsense. Some parts 
of it are, indeed, tolerable ; but as I am certain it will almost 
instantly fall into oblivion, I shall preserve four lines as a speci- 
men, though hardly a fair one, as they are the worst in the whole 
piece. 

'TO THE OCEAN. 
' Power to whose hundred hands is given, 
To toss their foam against the face of Heaven ! 
And ere insulted Heaven its wrath can show, 
Eetreats in safety to the abyss below.' 

I have only to say that if poetry like this shall carry off the prize, 
I shall never have that honor." 

In consequence of the state of his health, Mr. Kendall had been 
exonerated, by means of a surgeon's certificate, from militia duty ; 
but having in a measure recovered, he consented to form one of a 
party of Indians in a sham-fight, to come off at a battalion muster 
on the 20th of October. This was his only military achievement, 
and it is described in his journal in the following words : — 

"Arrived on the parade, three miles from Groton, about twelve 
o'clock. Only from twenty to thirty Indians collected. We went into 
the woods, made a fire, dressed, painted, and prepared for war. We 
were soon disturbed by unruly boys, who were fired upon and chased, 
when they began to throw stones into our encampment. We were 
holding a council, and sent a white man to tell them to desist, or the 
Indians would load with balls, and we were no more disturbed. An 
embassy, consisting of two chiefs and an attendant, was sent to the 
white men. While they were gone, a party, of which I was leader, re- 
connoitred the whole army of white men, and returned undiscovered 
after having travelled nearly two miles. 



INDIAN SHAM-FIGHT. g3 

" Our chiefs now returned, and announced war. We were directed to 
leave our encampment, and ambush a road about half a mile distant, 
where we were to act with a retreating party of whites, and fall upon 
the flanks and rear of their pursuers. Here we were again disturbed 
by boys, — left our coverts, made four or five prisoners, tied one of them 
to a tree, and the rest disappeared. 

" We had strict orders not to fire until friends and foes had complete- 
ly passed us. A company of old men, with the dress and arms of '75, 
appeared marching along the road through the Indian ambuscade. They 
wheeled, and had almost repassed us, when some one fired. The firing 
became general, until some one cried out 'Friends ! ' when it ceased. We 
afterwards discovered that they were really enemies. 

" The contending parties of whites now approached, and passed part 
way through the ambuscade, when the enemy began to retreat. The 
war-whoop was given, and we sprang for the rear, now front, of the re- 
treating party. I was about eight rods ahead of my comrades, and met 
a squad who had left the road, contrary to the order of the fight, and 
come into the woods to fight the Indians. I fired, and they fired ; 
I ran, and seven or eight of them ran after me. Meeting several of my 
brothers, we turned upon them and had a smart skirmish, which ended 
in the defeat of the white men, with the loss of four or five taken pris- 
oners. Two of them I helped take, and had my right hand slightly 
wounded by a bayonet. 

" I now set out to gain the front of the retreating party. I was 
again prevented by the '75's, who pursued me a short distance and 
desisted. I now crossed over to the right flank, where most of my 
brothers were ; was chased by a number of white men of our own party, 
escaped, flanked the enemy, fired several rounds and returned to the 
left. Soon came upon the flank of the enemy, shot one who had left 
the ranks to make water, and, being alone, retreated. Found an enemy 
behind the fence making cartridges, fired upon him, and, another Indian 
coming up, made him prisoner. At last, with several of my brothers, 
I gained the front of the enemy, and like a true Indian was attracted by 
the sight of a neighboring booth filled with all manner of good things, 
got as much occupee (rum) as I could drink gratis, and on returning 
with increased spirit found the enemy had surrendered. Joined heartily 
in a war-dance with my brothers, who were ordered to form with the 
battalion. This done, we gave a war-whoop and dance to Colonel Has- 
tings, who commanded our friends, fired several rounds were marched 
in front of the tavern, fired again, and were dismissed. Eetired to our 
camp, agreed to go home in Indian dress, and returned to the tavern. 
I was here standing, with my clothes in my left hand tied up in a pocket- 
handkerchief, in company with two others, when a soldier passed us, 



84 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

turned, and fired. My bundle dropped from my Land on fire, and my 
hand was covered with blood. There was a charge in my gun, and I 
was on the point of discharging it at his head, but a whisper of pru- 
dence forbade me. I followed the soldier, whom I recognized, showed 
my hand, told him I had a charge in my gun which I could put into his 
face, but that I should speak to him another day. I went into the 
house, washed my hand, found it well peppered, gave my beads to a 
nymph I do not know, took a merry supper with six of my companions, 
and returned to Groton. I fired at the door, gave the war-whoop, 
and entered Mr. Richardson's house tomahawk in hand. The little 
girls screamed ; the older people laughed. Thus ends my bulletin." 

At some points the s7i<zm-fight was a real battle. The soldiers 
could not apparently have been more vindictive if they had been 
fighting real Indians. Many of them left their ranks and went 
into the woods to fight the Indians, in violation of the order of 
battle. "Without scruple, they fired their powder into the arms 
and faces of the red men, and in some instances attempted to use 
their bayonets. There were not half a dozen of the Indians who 
were not more or less hurt, though none of them seriously ; but 
they contented themselves with capturing and disarming their 
disorderly adversaries, and in the course of the fight took prob- 
ably more than a dozen prisoners by main force. 

On the 21st Air. Kendall wrote : — 

" My hand has suppurated considerably, and the latter part of the 
night was very painful. This afternoon attempted to pick out the pow- 
der with a needle, grew faint, attempted to go to the house, got as far 
as Wheeler's store, growing fainter, stopped there, and had barely reached 
a chair when I fainted quite away. I was brought to life by the exer- 
tions of those present. When half alive, seeing a drunken man pres- 
ent, I could not help bidding them give the smelling-bottle to him, as he 
too seemed fainting. 

" This made me weak and stupid the rest of the day, and though at- 
tempts were made by others to take out the powder, I grew faint again 
and could not endure it." 

Most of it came off, however, with the lacerated skin ; but his 
left hand never entirely lost the marks of that day's sport. The 
soldier who had done the mischief voluntarily called, apologized, 
paid damages, and was forgiven. 

On the 29th of October Mr. Kendall wrote : — 

" I have lately been examining my collegiate productions, and copy- 
ing whatever I thought worthy of preservation into a book. Many 



JOURNAL EXTRACTS. 85 

famous morsels have been committed to the flames, and many others pre- 
served more for the sake of circumstances than on account of any merit 
of their own. I have nearly fifty pages of poetry and ninety of prose." 

This fall Mr. Bichardson, for reasons never fully explained, sud- 
denly made up his mind to remove from Groton to Portsmouth, 1ST. 
H. Of this resolution he informed Mr. Kendall, stating that by 
an understanding with Mr. Moore, to whom he had sold his house 
and business, his (Kendall's) position in the office was to remain 
unchanged, and that he had made an arrangement with James 
Brazer, Esq., for board, on the same conditions as theretofore 
in his own family. This was sad news to Mr. Kendall. He looked 
upon Mr. Moore as in all respects Mr. Eichardson's inferior, 
and he had a positive dislike of Mr. Brazer. His opinion of that 
man's character stands thus recorded under date of December 9th, 
1813: — 

" Mr. Richardson has informed me that he has engaged me a board- 
ing-place with James Brazer, Esq. He will let me board in his family, 
and wait for payment until I am able to make it from my practice. 
This is called a generous offer. It may be so ; but I have contracted 
such a hearty contempt for that man that I can put no confidence in his 
generosity. He seems to be generous from no other motive than to 
have some meritorious action of which he may boast. There is a 
nephew of his whom he has assisted, and I have often sickened at hear- 
ing the old man recount the instances of his bounty. Ought I to curse 
the man and still make use of his bounty ] I know not what else I can 
do. I can expect no other provision from Mr. Richardson ; I ought not 
to expect it. It is probable I shall accept this offer. He is a man of 
property, a member of the church, does not get drunk, though he some- 
times staggers, and, in his dealings, according to a modern expression, 
' suits himself to the times.' " 

Mr. Kendall boarded a few weeks with Mr. Brazer ; owed him, 
on settlement, fourteen dollars ; at his request procured a brother to 
sign with him a note for the money, and had been but a short 
time in the Western country when that brother was sued for the 
money ! Yet, no doubt, Mr. Brazer never ceased to boast of his 
liberality to Mr. Kendall. 

On the 19th of December Mr. Kendall had a settlement with 
Mr. Bichardson, of which he wrote as follows : — 

" He was generous to me beyond my expectations or even hopes. He 
charged me nothing for the expenses of my sickness, gave me several 



86 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

small sums in the course of the settlement, and I calculate his gratuities 
to me amount to about fifty dollars. But the instance of his generosity, 
of most importance, was discovered in his taking my note without the 
least security, not only for my board and tuition, but for one hundred 
and twenty-eight dollars which he has actually advanced in cash for me. 
My whole debt to him was three hundred and ninety-two dollars. 

"After settlement, he gave me a certificate expressed in terms for 
which my gratitude was too strong for utterance. If ever a tear of 
acknowledgment was in my eye, it was then. I had been wrought up 
by the preceding instances of his bounty, and so warm a recommenda- 
tion from such a man was too much. I could not thank him." 

Of the note given on this occasion Mr. Richardson never even 
requested payment, nor was the whole of it, with interest, paid, 
until after Mr. Kendall's removal to "Washington in 1829. 

The depression of business in New England caused by the war 
with Great Britain, and the absence of any rich or influential 
family connections who could aid in his advancement, had already 
induced Mr. Kendall to think of emigrating to the South or West, 
where there was a wider and clearer field for individual exertion. 
The unpleasant change in his position occasioned by Mr. Richard- 
son's withdrawal from the office, fixed his resolution, and the hope 
that his kind patron, having still one session to serve in Congress, 
might aid him with Southern and "Western men, hastened its exe- 
cution. He therefore determined to visit "Washington at the next 
session of Congress, intending to be governed, in making a plan of 
settlement, by the information he might there obtain. But there 
was a serious obstacle in the want of funds. He could not ask 
Mr. Richardson for further assistance, though that gentleman ap- 
proved of his resolution. His own father, though not rich, could, 
by his credit, always command money. To him an appeal was 
made, and though he did not approve of the movement, he con- 
sented to furnish, as a loan, two hundred dollars, which was the 
sum required. 

A large portion of Mr. Kendall's time during the months of 
November and December, 1813, and January and February, 1814, 
was spent in journeys to adjacent towns, partly on the business of 
Messrs. Richardson and Moore, and partly in visiting connections 
and friends preparatory to his departure. 

Not the least interesting incidents of Mr. Kendall's residence in 
Groton have thus far been touched upon in this biography. He 



IN LOVE. 37 

was, when he began the study of the law, twenty-two years old, 
and had never been in love, — perhaps because he had been too busy. 
There was in Groton a family of three very charming young ladies, 
with two of whom, the oldest and the youngest, the third being 
absent, Mr. Kendall and Mr. Woodbury became acquainted soon 
after their establishment there. Mr. Woodbury had engaged him- 
self to a country girl before he entered college ; but the superior 
beauty and education of the elder of his new acquaintances caused 
him to regret his early entanglement. Being an honest man, the 
conflict between his sense of duty and a new-born attachment was 
very painful to him. What might have been the issue, had it 
depended entirely upon himself, may be considered problematical ; 
but he was most happily relieved by his rustic fiancee. Hearing 
that he was paying attention to another lady, she received the ad- 
dresses of a new lover, and married him. Being now free, Mr. 
Woodbury offered himself to the present object of his admiration, 
and was accepted. 

In the mean time Mr. Kendall had become much interested in 
the youngest of the three sisters. Her youth, and bis poverty and 
prospects, forbade anything bike a matrimonial engagement, and for 
some months he had no distinct purpose in his frequent visits with 
his friend Woodbury but to pass an agreeable hour with lovely and 
intelligent young ladies. But, as often happens in such cases, a 
warm friendship assumed a character somewhat warmer, and per- 
haps with a vanity by no means pecubar to himself, he imagined 
that the lady's passion was no less ardent than his own. In this 
conviction he finally made up his mind to address her. But at this 
stage of the affair she left home and was absent some weeks. On 
her return he met her with ardor and was marked in his atten- 
tions. Her manner was not so cordial as he expected ; but whether 
her apparent reserve was the result of a change in her feelings to- 
wards him, or was the expression of female modesty natural under 
circumstances which indicated that affairs between them were 
speedily approaching a crisis, he was unable to determine. To 
satisfy his own mind he resolved to find or make an opportunity 
for an explanation. She evidently understood his object, and 
thwarted his intentions. Finally, without ever broaching the sub- 
ject to her, he became satisfied that he had entirely mistaken her 
feelings ; that the acts and language which he had accepted as 
evidences of attachment to .him were but the ebullitions of an art- 



88 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

less, romantic nature ; and that the change in her manner was due 
to her discovery that they had produced an effect upon him which 
she had never contemplated. 

It would not be true to say that this discovery gave Mr. Ken- 
dall no pain ; but it pointed out the path of duty. He at once 
resolved to dismiss her from his heart, to treat her as he did other 
female friends, and never thereafter, by word or act, to indicate 
that he had ever entertained a partiality for her. Though there 
was occasionally a heart-rebellion against this resolution, it was 
faithfully kept, and in a short time her presence excited no pecu- 
liar emotion. For a time she maintained a studied reserve towards 
him ; but this was soon overcome by his prudent conduct, and they 
remained as good friends as if Cupid had never maliciously amused 
himself with their mistakes. 

In the mean time Mr. Kendall had become acquainted with the 
other sister, whom he found to be worthy of his highest regard. 
The incidents which had occurred did not break off his visits to 
the family, by whom he was always received with the utmost cor- 
diality. It was perhaps natural that he should, under the circum- 
stances, be inclined to transfer his affections from one sister, by 
whom they were not reciprocated, to another who might prove 
more appreciative. In this new attachment there was not that 
degree of romance which marked the former ; but, perhaps for 
that very reason, it was more satisfactory. The object of it was 
older and better acquainted with the world, and possessed of all 
the qualities of head and heart necessary to make a man happy. 
Mr. Kendall had made up his mind to leave New England, and 
had no thought of marrying until he should be established in busi- 
ness, with an income adequate to the support of a family. Yet, 
having found that these affairs of the heart interfered very much 
with his studies and impaired his capacity for business, he became 
desirous to put an end to their distracting influence by an engage- 
ment which should settle the question of his future domestic rela- 
tions, and leave his mind to pursue other objects undisturbed by 
restless passions. Entertaining these views, and satisfied that he 
should never find one better calculated to encourage and aid him 
in the rugged paths of life, he broached the subject to her, and was 
made quite happy by her reply. He told her frankly, that seeing 
no prospect of advancement in his profession in New England, he 
expected to settle somewhere in the South or West, and she 



MATRIMONIAL PROJECTS. 89 

thought it would make no difference to her. Thus this interesting 
affair seemed to have reached a satisfactory adjustment. 

But, alas! "the course of true love never did run smooth." 
"While he was preparing for his journey to Washington the lady 
left home on a visit to her friends in Boston. He wrote to her 
there, and it seemed to him a long time before an answer came. 
And when it arrived at last, it announced her indisposition to en- 
gage herself to a young man who was about to leave for a distant 
land, where he must necessarily form new associations and perhaps 
new attachments. An animated correspondence ensued, in which 
both parties were equally inflexible. Avowing her partiality for him 
and her readiness to marry him if he would remain in New Eng- 
land, the lady firmly persisted in declining an engagement if he 
would not. On the other hand, he as firmly refused, for her sake, 
to remain in New England, where he could have but the faintest 
hopes of advancement. The affair ended in the exchange of tokens 
of friendship and mutual promises of correspondence, the bargain 
being sealed with a kiss, which was the first and the last. 

Eomantic youngsters may think the love was not very ardent on 
either side, when neither would, for the sake of the other, give up 
the point of difficulty. Theirs was not an unreasoning love. The 
lady's decision was justified by prudence. Though his would 
doubtless have been the same had he known that the separation 
was final, he had a strong hope that when he had established him- 
self in business, no matter where, she would, if still single, be will- 
ing to marry him. Nor did he give up this hope until after he 
had begun business, when, at his request, his friend Woodbury put 
the question as if to satisfy his own curiosity, whether in case 
Kendall returned and addressed her, she would go with him to 
Kentucky, and received in reply a decisive " No ! " 

Time passed, and Mr. Woodbury was on the point of being mar- 
ried to the eldest of the three sisters, when she sickened and died. 
To him the shock was terrible. After several months Mr. Kendall 
advised him to turn his thoughts to the second sister, as one 
well calculated to fill the void in his heart occasioned by the 
loss of the elder. Though in his reply Woodbury scouted the 
idea of his ever marrying any one, not a year passed before he had 
acted upon Kendall's advice. In a few years, however, he died of 
consumption. 

Mr. Kendall also married, and after five years was left a widower. 



90 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

His thoughts reverted to the girl he left behind him, now the 
widow of his friend "Woodbury, and in a letter he indicated his 
disposition to renew the relations which once existed between 
them. Perceiving his drift, she at once put an end to all hope by 
replying that she would never leave her aged mother, then under 
her care, and hinting that she had no desire again to enter the 
matrimonial state. And she died a widow, at an advanced age. 

Another singular incident may be mentioned in this connection. 
Mr. Kendall had an only son, and the third sister to whom he was 
once so enthusiastically attached had an only daughter. They 
casually met, contracted a mutual attachment for each other, and 
were married. 



CHAPTEE IV. 

On the 7th of February, 1814, there was a family meeting 
at Deacon Kendall's. The following is Mr. Kendall's account of 
it: — 

" This day, for the first and probably the last time, all my father's 
children dined together. The youngest was born since the oldest left 
home. Several incidents rendered the scene highly interesting. My 
three older brothers had their -wives with them ; my next younger, the 
girl whom he expects to marry ; and, of all the near connections, my sis- 
ter's husband alone was absent. While we were preparing drink, each 
for his partner, my mother observed to my sister, that as she had now 
no husband she must depend on me. My sister was so stung by the 
reflection, that she went away and wept bitterly. I, too, thought of 
another, but hushed my thoughts as well as I could. 

" After dinner, our father addressed us. His voice was interrupted by 
the agitation of his feelings. Our mother attempted to speak; but 
tears choked her utterance. Our father continued. He advised us to 
cherish affection for one another, said we should probably never meet 
again in this world, and besought us to prepare for an interview in a 
better. Turning to me, he said they would probably see me no more, 
and bade me follow honesty in my profession, and, above all, seek for 
salvation through a Saviour. 

" We were all drowned in tears. It was more like a scene of death 
than a meeting of joy. After some observations from my brother John, 
we sang together, and our father prayed with us. I was too much 
affected to be able to utter a word." 

On the 18th he took leave of his father's family. On this oc- 
casion he says, "The parting was consecrated by abundance of 
tears ; but we were too much affected to say anything more than 
' farewell.' " 

His mother was in such feeble health that there was little 
probability of his ever seeing her again. His father took him to 
Groton, and there they exchanged farewells. The same evening he 



92 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

visited the family in which, during his residence in Groton, he had 
spent so many happy hours, and bade his friends there a painful 
adieu. 

The next day he took leave of his other friends in Groton, and 
went to Boston, where he remained until the 21st, making parting 
calls and taking leave of his friends, among whom were Jonathan 
Fowle and his sisters, and the lady whom he still hoped to make 
his wife. The 20th was Sunday, in the record of which day he 
states that he attended church, and that " The young Mr. Everett 
was the clergyman, — a youth of great promise, lately ordained over 
the church in Brattle Square." This was Edward Everett, who 
afterwards became distinguished as a lecturer and statesman. 

Extracts from Mr. Kendall's journal, with explanatory remarks, 
will best describe his journey. 

"1814, February 21st. About nine o'clock set out from Boston. 
The stage was full, and I therefore took a seat with the driver. This I 
found the most pleasant seat. With the towns in the neighborhood of 
Boston, on the western road, I was disappointed. The soil generally is 
poor, with a mixed growth of hemlock, white-pine, and some hardwood. 
The effects of a late storm were apparent in the multitude of broken 
boughs strewed through the forests. 

" On entering the stage I found my companions to be three speculat- 
ing merchants, whose conversation related to their own business, two 
little girls lately from the West Indies, and one or two others. 

" 22d. It was one o'clock in the morning when we arrived at Ashford. 
I was sick with riding in the stage, and retired to bed. We were called 
about five o'clock, and, although not completely relieved, I set out with 
the rest. I had the precaution to take a seat with the driver, where I 
had a chance of viewing the country. The soil, as we advanced, grew 
better. We passed through Hartford, Wethersfield, etc., to New Haven, 
where we arrived about 11 p. m. No particular curiosity was ob- 
served to-day, excepting the rock down which the brave Putnam pre- 
cipitated himself when pursued by the British. A road is now cut 
through the rock, a little to the left of the spot. 

" After attempting in vain to get our baggage carried to the packet, 
we retired to bed. 

"23d. Set out about six o'clock, and arrived at Rye, within twenty- 
six miles of New York. In consequence of horrible roads we could pro- 
ceed no farther, and put up for the night. I was very much fatigued, 
and retired immediately to bed. 

" 24th. Started about seven o'clock, and with great exertion arrived 



STAGE RIDE. — PHILADELPHIA TO WASHINGTON. 93 

in New York about four. Entered my name on book for Philadelphia, 
in the Commercial, to-morrow at seven o'clock ; put up at a villanous 
tavern near the stage-house, where I had dinner, which was served 
without a single vegetable except pickles ; wrote a letter to Mr. Moore, 
and then roved out. New York has many beauties, but I have not 
seen enough of it to give a description. 

u 25th. Started from the tavern about seven o'clock, crossed the 
ferry to Paul's Hook in the steamboat. The wind was high, and the 
waves several times dashed over the deck of the boat. The prospect on 
this passage is very pleasant, and in the spring must be delightful. 
Great imposition is here practised by the servants who carry trunks, etc., 
to and from the boat. A York shilling is their price, however short the 
distance, and often they ask two. We were long detained before our 
team was ready, and about nine o'clock were under way. The face 
of the country in New Jersey is too level to be romantic, but 
it is very beautiful and productive. We passed through Newark 
and Elizabethtown, — two very fine places. In the latter we saw many 
soldiers of the United States, and were told that recruiting now pro- 
gressed rapidly. The road this day was worse than I have ever before 
seen. I and others of the passengers walked many miles. We had seven 
passengers, most of whom were by birth Yankees, and, in principles, 
Democratic. We arrived at New Brunswick about 8 p. m., where we 
met passengers who had been nearly two days in coming from Philadel- 
phia. They represent the road as indescribably dreadful. 

" 26th. Set out from New Brunswick soon after daylight, and in 
consequence of the badness of the roads several of us proceeded on foot. 
The mud was a little frozen, so that it would bear a man, but not a 
horse. Through the swamp, so called, every passenger walked twelve 
miles, except one, and he walked eight. So much faster than the horses 
did we get along, that we called for a breakfast and ate it before we were 
overtaken. 

" Being considerably fatigued with our walk, the day passed rather 
gloomily, and we arrived in Philadelphia between 10 and 11 p. m. 
It was my inclination to take the packet from this place ; but on learn- 
ing that its course was very uncertain, I entered my name for to-morrow 
morning's stage. 

" 27th. Started from Philadelphia between five and six ; but in con- 
sequence of bad roads and a poor driver, we made little progress. This 
day, for the first time, my stage companions excited peculiar interest. We 
had on board a Baltimore pilot, a citizen of Havre de Grace, a Phila- 
delphia lawyer, turned horse-racer, and three medical students, two 
from Virginia and one from South Carolina. 

" The Baltimore pilot was a clever, honest, moral fellow, who had, as he 



94 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

said, been somewhat dissipated in his youth, and caught a bad disease 
which induced him to reform. The racer was a man of no morals, 
who boasted of his profligacies, and was possessed of excessive vanity. 
He had beaten all America, and could beat all the world. 

" The three medical students were very dissolute, told of their amours 
and irregularities with as little ceremony as a Northern man would tell 
a story. Yet they had agreeable manners and many of the qualities of 
gentlemen. When we arrived at Elkton, the opinion of the majority 
was that we should lodge there on account of the badness of the roads. 
Two of the students wished to go to Havre. A dispute arose, and the 
horse-racer swore we should not go, for he would prevent it. This was 
said at supper, and although my opinion was the same as his, I was 
vexed at his arrogance, and said that no gentleman ought to make his 
opinion the law of the company. One of the students thinking I meant 
him, dropped his knife and fork, and said he had as much pretensions 
to that character as others. I replied I did not refer to him, when he 
asked me a thousand pardons, and, after we rose, took my hand and 
again asked my pardon. 

"28th. Started from Elkton about five o'clock, and travelled on 
foot considerable of the way to Havre de Grace. We passed the spot 
where the British burned a bridge and iron-works at the same time that 
they burned Havre. 

" The iron-works are again in operation, but the bridge is not yet re- 
built. The day was extremely cold, and the Susquehanna, when we 
passed it, was full of thin ice. I did not find Havre, as I expected, all 
in ashes. Only a few of the best houses were burned, and there is yet a 
considerable village. This day's passage was not very agreeable, on ac- 
count of the sourness among the passengers. But I had the good for- 
tune to keep my temper with them all. As we approached Baltimore, I 
could hardly believe such a city so near, when the surrounding country 
was so dreary. Only once in several miles would we meet a decent house. 
The intervals had either no houses at all, or a few miserable huts, the 
habitations of slaves. The wood has been mostly cut off, and the soil is 
covered with a small growth. Arrived in Baltimore by moonlight, and 
was agreeably disappointed at finding the place so beautiful. 

" March 1st. Started from Baltimore about 7 p. M. It is lament- 
able that a place of so much beauty should have been so disgraced by 
its inhabitants. The idea that it is so disorderly will intrude itself and 
mar every pleasant emotion. 

" We here took in three more medical students on their way from 
Philadelphia to the South. Our time passed merrily away, excepting 
awhile which was spent in political dispute. Among the students were 
three Federalists, two from Virginia and one from South Carolina. In the 



THE METROPOLIS. 95 

course of conversation one of them avowed himself an atheist. This 
raised a universal horror, and those who were proud to tell of their 
immoralities were loudest in protesting their abhorrence, and in applaud- 
ing the doctrines of a Supreme Being and of Christianity. I was some- 
what surprised, for I could not conceive how men avowedly so dissolute 
could believe in doctrines so diametrically opposed to the whole course 
and object of their lives. 

" It was after dark when we arrived in Washington. The first object 
which presented itself was the Capitol, which, in the dusk of evening, 
made a very gloomy appearance. I could not get entertainment at the 
tavern, and therefore called at the boarding-house of Mr. Eichardson. 
Here I met him and General Varnum, and engaged board with them 
while I remain in town. 

" 2d. This morning went to see a picture called the ' Dance of 
Wertmuller.' I never before saw anything which gave me' any idea of 
the power of painting. 

" I cannot describe the appearance of the picture ; but the admira- 
tion which it excited I shall never forget. Passed from this to the 
Capitol. Its appearance was much better by day than by night. 
Only the two wings are built, and they are composed of huge piles of 
freestone. 

" In the evening went with Mr. Varnum to the President's levee. 

" I was introduced to Mr. and Mrs. Madison. I felt no awe, although 
Mrs. Madison is a noble, dignified person, apparently more able to 
manage the affairs of the nation than her husband. His personal 
appearance is very inferior. Many great men of the nation were 
present, and many fine ladies. I was, however, not much instructed, 
though considerably entertained. There were, I presume, . nearly 
three hundred present, who did not form in clusters, but filled the 
whole drawing-room. In the course of the evening I obtained an in- 
troduction to Mr. Grundy, not with a design to converse with him on 
my own affairs, but to inquire of him concerning Henry Bullard, an 
officer of Toledo, according to the request of his father. I asked my 
questions, went away, and sat down. He soon came and sat down by 
my side, and asked if I was the gentleman who wrote him a letter. 
I answered ' yes ' ; when a conversation commenced which ended in 
his asking me to call on him as soon as convenient, which I promised. 
I saw few ladies with whom I was at all pleased. Indeed, I took 
very little notice of them. The elegance of the apartments or the dress 
and beauty of the ladies did not raise one emotion above the common 
course, and I had rather give the girl I love one kiss than attend a 
thousand such parties. A little past nine I retired, better pleased with 
the novelty of the scene than anything else. 



96 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

" 3d. This morning was taken into the Senate Chamber by General 
Tarnum, where he introduced me to a Senator from Ohio, one from 
Louisiana, and Mr. Bledsoe of Lexington, Kentucky. 

" Ohio, I am told, is already crowded with lawyers. Kentucky is not 
so full as Ohio, but even in that State there are enough. On my ob- 
serving that 1 thought my best plan would be to introduce myself as an 
instructor in some family, Mr. Bledsoe said he thought it would, and 
that he wanted a man in his family in that capacity. I caught at the 
expression, but he was soon called away, observing as he went, that on 
further conversation we might probably make some arrangement. Gen- 
eral Varnum promised to converse with him, and thus we left it. 

" The Senate Chamber is much more elegant than that of the House, 
but I am not able to describe it. I should not think there was here so 
much talent as in the House, and the President is a satire on all legis- 
lation. 

" General Yarnum informs me that he has conversed with Bledsoe, 
who has four children, the youngest of whom is six years old ; but he 
does not know on what terms he will receive me. He has referred him 
to Mr. Richardson. 

" Jfth. Called on Mr. Grundy according to promise. His colleague 
was present, and several places were mentioned where prospects were 
good. If his house is finished, and he will know in a day or two, he 
will make an arrangement to admit me into his family. 

" This forenoon I wandered to the Navy Yard and through the south- 
ern part of the city. It exhibits melancholy evidence of the folly of 
attempting to force a place beyond its natural growth. Whole blocks 
of brick buildings, which were never finished, are now in ruins. Yet 
the city increases rapidly, but the buildings are generally erected on 
the spots which nature has made most unpleasant. If the country 
flourish, this city must become great, for the site is beautiful. 

"5th. This day Mr. Richardson conversed with Mr. Bledsoe, who 
will take me into his family ; but the particular terms are not yet 
specified. 

" 6th. This day attended meeting in the Capitol. The preacher, it is 
said, is a Baptist, and is a chaplain in the army. His name is Jones. He 
told us he is seventy-seven years old, and has preached fifty-five years. 
His sermon might do for an army, but to an enlightened audience it was 
a piece of ridiculous rant. The burden of his discourse was, eternal hos- 
tility to England. His invectives against Federalists were severe, and 
such as by a preacher ought never to be used. In fine, I consider the 
whole scene a profanation of Christian worship, and should, had I not 
been ignorant of the preacher, not consider myself justified in attending 
his preaching. Many Federalists went out, and with just reason. The 



STAGE TRAVEL. 97 

President was present. In the afternoon heard a Presbyterian, who 
preached an excellent sermon. 

" 7th. This morning called on Mr. Bledsoe. He will admit me 
into his family, and if I will assist him in the instruction of his chil- 
dren, will give me the use of his books, my board, and $100 per year. 
I have closed with his proposal, and intend setting out day after to- 
morrow for Kentucky. I shall go to Pittsburg, thence down the river 
to Maysville (Limestone), thence by land to Lexington. 

" Went into the Supreme Court to-day and heard an eloquent argu- 
ment from Mr. Pinckney. 

"8th. Went into the Patent-Office. There found a multitude of 
inventions, most of which are as unintelligible as they are useless. 

" This evening bade adieu to my benefactor, Mr. Richardson, and Mr. 
Varnum's family, and rode in a hack to Georgetown. I had a melan- 
choly ride ; for the idea of bidding adieu to my last friend impressed 
me with sensations more enduring than I had before felt. 

" 9th. Started from Georgetown about seven o'clock. The day 
was rainy and very unpleasant. This was in some measure compen- 
sated by the agreeableness of my company. Those whose conversation 
was most interesting and instructive were Governor Cass and Major 
Trimble. 

" Cass seems to be possessed of the genuine feelings of a Republican 
as to his politics, but has a contempt for religion and religious men. 
His opinion of Pinckney, the present Attorney-General, arose from a 
slight specimen of his vanity when he first saw him. It was at the 
levee, where Pinckney appeared with his hat under his arm. This raised 
Cass's contempt, and he cannot since see or hear him with the least 
patience. Though himself a Yankee, he has a great contempt for them, 
which is no great argument in favor of his heart or his judgment. 

" Trimble is a native of Kentucky, and represents Bledsoe as one of 
the first lawyers in the State, and says his wife is an excellent woman. 
We arrived this night at Fredericktown, which, through the dusk of 
evening, seemed to be a considerable village. 

" 10th. Passed on through Hagerstown, and several other places 
called towns, to a considerable place called Chambersburg, beyond the 
Blue Mountains. We were informed that the land on the road, this 
day, sells generally from $100 to $120 per acre. By the appearance of 
the houses and villages compared with those in New England, one 
would not imagine there could be such a difference in the value of the 
land. In the latter country many farmers' houses may be seen scattered 
over the country, equal and even superior in elegance and size to al- 
most any in these towns ; yet land there will not average more than 
$ 20 per acre. The inference is, that the Northerners have much 



98 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

better taste than the Southerners. Their modes of living I am not yet 
able to compare. 

" 11th. Started from Chambersburg about three- o'clock, a. m., and 
about nine arrived at the foot of the Cove Mountains, a branch of the 
Alleghanies. Here we had the misfortune to break our carriage. Con- 
sequently, all the passengers, except a lady, walked over the moun- 
tain about six miles to McConnell's town. It was eleven o'clock, and we 
had just arrived at our place for breakfast. But before we had pro- 
ceeded a mile farther I became excessively sick, and found it absolutely 
necessary to stop and retire to bed. 

" 12th. Arose this morning nearly well, but very weak. As I found 
myself in a wagoner's tavern, without conveniences, I determined to 
return to McConnell's town, and wait there for Monday's stage. Ac- 
cordingly I put my baggage into a wagon, and walked back to the house 
whence I last started. The roads in this country are extremely rough, 
and I am told much worse before than behind me. If I once get safely 
through, I doubt whether I will soon be caught on this road in the stage 
again. Wrote a letter to Woodbury, and afterward, being impatient, 
went in to the family, and found there three fine girls with whom I spent 
a pleasant evening. 

" 13th. By the aid of reading and writing, made shift to pass away 
this day. At night, 'about three hundred militia from Adams County, Pa., 
entered the place on their way to Erie. They were without order, and 
apparently without officers, — mean, dirty, ugly, and in every respect con- 
temptible. 

" 14th. Started in the stage at four o'clock. My companions were 
a native of Ireland, naturalized, about fifty years of age, coarse, but 
very intelligent, and a native of Germany, amiable, polite, and merry. 
We passed over ' Scrub Ridge,' ' Sideling Hill,' and through the gaps 
of two other ridges of mountains which rise iu huge broken cliffs on the 
sides of the Juniata River. Met several of this State's militia who had 
deserted, and it is said many more will follow their example, on account 
of scarcity of provisions. Near the last-mentioned hills is a brook 
called ' Bloody Run,' where a battle was once fought with the Indians. 

"15th. We spent last night in a place called Bedford. Started 
about four o'clock, with the same companions as yesterday. For the 
young German I have conceived a considerable friendship. Passed the 
Alleghany Ridge to-day, where we found considerable quantities of snow. 
Put up at a place called Somerset. 

"16th. We left our Irish companion at Somerset, and proceeded 
with only two passengers. My companion, whom I may now call my 
friend, gave me a sketch of some of the principal incidents of his life. 
I find it, in some respects, like my own, but checkered with much more 



PITTSBURG, — SITUATION, ETC. 99 

variety. In return, I gave him some of the most interesting incidents 
which have befallen myself, and, on condition of my staying in Pitts- 
burg a week, he has promised to accompany me to Kentucky. 

" We passed this day over Laurel Mountain and Chestnut Ridge, the 
last of the Alleghanies. Between these two ridges is a wide and dreary 
valley, almost in its native wildness. We stopped for the night at 
Greensburgh. I was again sick, and a gentleman named Smith offered 
to let me have his horse to-morrow, and, in exchange, take my seat in 
the stage. 

"17th. Near 7 a. m., I arose and set out. I was tolerably well, 
but weak. Passed over a good, but hilly country, and at Turtle 
Creek had a delightful view. It is a small stream, which winds along 
through a very deep valley. The road on each side is bad, steep, 
and almost impassable. As I arrived on the top of the hill on one side, 
I saw a dozen wagons winding up the hill on the other, and heard the 
echo of bugle-horns. The creek was hid from me, but as I approached 
the bottom a meandering, romantic stream presented itself, with a house 
on its banks encompassed with five hundred fine soldiers. 

" They were firing at a target, and just as I passed them the bugle 
sounded and they began their marching. 

" Nothing else occurred worthy of notice until I arrived in the valley 
down which the Alleghany River winds to Pittsburg. Here a delightful 
scene struck my sight. The river runs between mountains, and at the 
end of the vale Pittsburg presents itself enveloped in smoke and dust. 
My sensations are not to be expressed. I said, ' Here is my country,' 
and almost resolved at any rate to go no farther. With these feelings 
I entered the place end. found it a very blacksmith's shop, full of dust 
and noise. My friend did not enter it with the same pleasure as my- 
self ; for he came another road, and met the smoke at the distance of 
two miles. He was even rather disgusted, and became desirous of being 
away. We walked out together and took a hasty view of some part 
of the place, but, being much fatigued, returned to the tavern, and at 
an early hour retired to bed." 

The portion of Mr. Kendall's journal which covered his stay at 
Pittsburg is unfortunately lost, and the incidents occurring there 
are narrated from memory. 

The next morning after their arrival he and his friend rose early 
and ascended Grant's Hill, behind the city, for the purpose of 
enjoying the views. The hill had not then been occupied by 
buildings, and between it and the improvements of the city were 
small ponds of water, formed by excavations of clay for brick- 
making. 



100 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

The city itself, then comparatively a mere village, was all within 
a half-mile of the junction of the Alleghany and Monongahela 
Rivers, chiefly skirting those streams. The present site of Alle- 
ghany City was in part covered by farms and in part thinly 
wooded. Beneath the cliffs on the east side of the Monongahela 
there were considerable improvements, including two glass-houses. 
The two rivers uniting below the city, the rivers beyond the Alle- 
ghany and the cliffs of the Monongahela constituted a display of 
natural scenery seldom equalled in beauty. The whole, however, 
was marred by coal-dust which filled the air. The glass-houses 
beyond the Monongahela, and numerous furnaces within the city, 
some of them burning night and day, sent up columns of black 
smoke, which settled upon and disfigured every terrestrial object. 

Being in no haste to reach Kentucky before the arrival of Mr. 
Bledsoe, who had not yet reached Pittsburg, Mr. Kendall readily 
assented to the proposition of his friend to spend a few days in 
the city. He had a letter of introduction to the Hon. "William 
Wilkins, who treated him with marked kindness. 

The business of Pittsburg had been stimulated into unprece- 
dented activity by the pending war with Great Britain. It was an 
entrepSt for military stores for both the Northwestern and South- 
western frontiers, many of which were manufactured there. While 
our travellers remained there, troops arrived on their way to Lake 
Erie, among whom was a fine company of volunteers from Peters- 
burg,' Va. They left in a snow-storm, and Mr. Kendall and his 
friend went out to see them cross the Alleghany River. The ferry- 
boats had to make several turns, during which the men gathered in 
clusters on the bank and sang patriotic songs, while the snow fell 
thick and fast around them. Many of the Petersburg volunteers 
never returned, the company being terribly cut up in a subsequent 
battle on the Niagara frontier. 

At his boarding-house Mr. Kendall became acquainted with a 
Frenchman who had begun the publication of a periodical at Pitts- 
burg, called the " Western Gleaner." At the Frenchman's request 
he agreed to furnish him some of his poetic effusions for the young 
magazine, which, with the magazine itself, soon passed into ob- 
livion. 

The two emigrants were soon sated with their experience of 
Pittsburg, which seemed to them little better than a coal-hole for 
cleanliness. Steamboats had not then come into general use on 



VOYAGE DOWN THE OHIO. 1Q1 

the Western rivers. Two had been built, of rude model, and not 
comparable in speed or comfort with the steamboats of the present 
day ; but both of them were below on the Mississippi Eiver. There 
was no stage or other public conveyance west of Pittsburg, and the 
ordinary route of travel westward was down the Ohio in flat-boats, 
keel-boats, or barges. But our young emigrants, being somewhat 
romantic and adventurous, determined to make the voyage from 
Pittsburg to Cincinnati in their own boat. So they bought a skiff, 
a buffalo-robe, and a quantity of such stores as they would not be 
likely to find along the river, intending to travel only by day, and 
put up with such lodgings at night as they might find near the 
banks. 

Their preparations were complete, when they fell in at the land- 
ing with Major William T. Barry, of Lexington, Ky., who, with his 
wife, servants, horses, and carriage, was preparing to descend the 
river to Maysville, Ky. Informed of their plan, and having no 
skiff for the use of his boat, he proposed that they should put their 
stores into a common stock, come on board his boat, and tie their 
skiff alongside, to which they readily assented. 

Major Barry's boat was over thirty feet long, and embraced three 
apartments. In the stern was a stable containing two horses. The 
centre apartment was occupied by Major Barry and his wife as a 
sitting-room and bed-room. In the bows was the kitchen, dining- 
room, and sleeping room (all in one) of the other passengers and 
servants. The stable, centre room, and half of the bow was cov- 
ered by an arched roof of bent plank. Between Mrs. Barry's room 
and the bow was a chimney, with a small fireplace on each side. 
Turning on a pin upon the stern of the boat, there was a steering- 
oar about thirty feet long, and on each side, about a third of the 
way from the bow to the stern, was a side oar also, turning on 
a pin. The body of the boat was a rectangular box, consisting 
of timbers, horizontal and perpendicular, mortised together and 
covered with plank made water-tight. 

In this clumsy craft our travellers left Pittsburg on the 25th of 
March, 1814, and began the descent of the beautiful Ohio. Their 
motive power was the current of the river, the oars being used 
only to keep the boat in position and in the channel, as well as to 
effect landings. The bed of our emigrants was straw, in the bow 
of the boat, and their covering a buffalo-robe. The first night the 
straw did not suffice to protect their ribs against the ribs of the 



102 AUTOBIOGEAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

boat ; but this ' inconvenience was obviated thereafter by an in- 
crease in the quantity. 

The subsequent portion of the journey is thus described in Mr. 
Kendall's journal : — 

" March 26th. Started this morning half an hour before sunrise, and 
passed through a country affording at this season very little variety of 
scenery, about thirty-two miles to Faucettstown. This, with several other 
places which the legislatures of the different States have named towns, is 
a miserable village, consisting of a few houses built of logs and mortar. 
I am disappointed in the banks of this river ; for I supposed them to 
be covered with fields. Instead of that they are a hilly wilderness, 
much of which is not susceptible of cultivation. When clothed in the 
dress of spring, it must, however, afford much beautiful scenery, espe- 
cially the small islands which fill the river. We hauled up about sun- 
down, because we were unacquainted with the stream. 

" 27th, Pushed off about day. This morning I felt much better 
than yesterday, because I had much better sleep. Our bed is a little 
straw beneath and a buffalo-skin above, and our manner of eating, 
soldier-like. Our cooks are the black servants of Mr. Barry. In the 
forenoon, put off with my friend in our skiff, and visited a coal-mine 
lately opened on the bank. We found one of the two young men who had 
done the work. They bought as much as they could put in a boat for 
$10. The boat costs $100. Their labor may be that of a month. 
They will then descend to Cincinnati and sell their coal, 1500 bushels, 
for 37^ cents per bushel. Their freight will bring nearly the first cost 
of the boat ; so that the business must be profitable. 

"About two o'clock passed Steubenville on the right bank, — a town 
containing some elegant buildings. Before we arrived at this place we 
saw a boat setting out for New Orleans. It was a beautiful day, and 
the whole neighborhood, male and female, were collected to bid their 
friends adieu. Some of them went on board and landed again at Steu- 
benville. Opposite the town the bank rises in a high hill with frequent 
cliffs, around which were flying a number of black buzzards. We were 
told that they build their nests in these cliffs. Multitudes of ducks of a 
speckled and black color are seen along the river, and near by, in the 
swamps, are heard millions of peeping frogs. 

"A little before night we passed Charlestown, a considerable village 
on the Virginia side. My friend having left us in the skiff, and not 
coming in sight before dark, we hauled to land to wait for him and col- 
lect wood. After his arrival, we passed on a little below Wheeling. 
Being very unwell, I had lain down, and did not see this place. With 
the exception of a few beautiful houses, the buildings which I have yet 
seen on the river look like the abodes of poverty. 



BLANNERHASSET'S ISLAND. 103 

" 28th. When we arrived within five miles of Little Grave Creek, 
my friend and myself went forward in the skiff to view the curiosities 
in the neighborhood. The principal is a mound of earth evidently 
raised by human labor as a grave for heroes, or to perpetuate some 
great victory gained on the spot. It is an astonishing pile, and seems 
almost too great for human labor. There are many smaller ones in the 
neighborhood of the same construction, in which have been found human 
bones, and, our guide said, golden beads. About half a mile distant 
there is a regular fortification. Time would not permit us to view it, 
and our guide could give but a faint description. These things could 
not be the work of uncivilized Indians, and must, therefore, have 
risen under the hand of a more cultivated people. Our scenery 
this' day was very much as yesterday, nor did we pass any considerable 
town. We observed one boat landing horses and cattle. It appeared 
to be a family boat, bound down with tbe owner's whole fortune on 
board. There are many of this kind annually carrying families to the 
different branches of the Ohio. A slave, whom we had on board, won- 
dered what he (the poor emigrant) had done with all the property he 
had made, as he appeared to be an old man and had always been free, 
but observed, ' the devil a bit the better on't is he.' 

"29th. Last night I guided the boat from eight till eleven. The 
evening was delightful. Several fires on the hills, the barking and 
howling of dogs, and the sound of violins which issued from the encamp- 
ments of two boats' crews on the shore, made the evening singularly 
romantic. After this, I retired to my straw, and nothing occurred 
through the night except once running upon the point of an island, 
from which we easily swung. In the morning we passed Marietta, on 
the mouth of the Muskingum. It is a beautiful situation ; but the 
lowness of the bank so exposes it to inundation, that it can never be- 
come great. It is settled by New-England ers, and contains many hand- 
some houses. We now find ourselves in a more level country. When 
within a few miles of Blannerhasset's Island, % three of us went forward 
in our skiff to take a view of it. We found this once beautiful spot 
covered with ruins. His house was reduced to ashes, soon after the 
owner left it, in consequence of his engagement in Burr's conspiracy. It 
was a crescent, the body in the centre, with piazzas continued to the 
wings, where were two small buildings thus connected with the main 
body. The chimneys are yet standing ; but every enclosure is destroyed, 
and barely a trace of them remains. His walks are obstructed by the 
trees which have been thrown down by the freshets of the Ohio, and 
the ruins of a summer-house are still seen among the uncultured 
shrubbery. Part of the garden-fence is still standing, and a young 
orchard shows the premature destruction of the owner's fortune. The 



104 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

■whole is a melancholy evidence of the folly of Blannerhasset, and 
I could not help wishing that the house of every man who would 
sell his country may become as desolate as the habitation of Blanner- 
hasset. 

" 30th. Set out about day, and, as usual, I arose at that time and 
went on deck. The morning was cloudy, but the clouds soon blew over 
and presented us a fine sky. A Captain Swearingen, my friend, and 
myself, landed and walked about six miles to examine a place called the 
' Devil's Hole.' It is a place in the side of a hill where a run descends, 
and the rocks have fallen from below in consequence of inundation by 
the descending water, and left the rocks overhanging above. There is 
nothing in it very curious or remarkable. At night the wind was so 
violent that we pulled ashore immediately, and there soon arose a thun- 
der-storm. The thunder was not heavy, but the flash of the lightning 
and the echoes of the thunder from the hills and banks were romantic 
and sublime. 

" 31st. Started as soon as daylight would allow, and were soon at 
Letart's falls. I should not have known it but for the name, for the 
water is not so swift as in many other places. The river, however, is 
rather high, as it has risen rapidly for a few days past. Here I saw a 
floating mill. It is a small building built on a boat, which is moored to 
some immovable object in the current, the rapidity of which carries the 
wheel, which lies over on one side. 

" This afternoon the wind was very high ahead. We made progress for 
a while, but were finally obliged to stop. Myself, with one other, went 
out in the skiff for amusement. We were sometimes a little spattered, 
but persevered until we were tired of the amusement. I had much 
delight in it, although it was dangerous sport. The wind becoming 
more mild, we resolved to ride through the night. 

" April 1st. We passed Gallipolis and the Great Kanawha in my 
sleep. Soon after three I was called to the oar, where I remained until 
after daylight. This day we entered Kentucky. 

" 2d. Travelled again through the night, and I again held the oar 
from two till four. Soon after four we arrived at Portsmouth, where 
we landed Captain Swearingen, of Chillicothe, and a private soldier 
named Bruff, of Kentucky, who was taken sick while in Fort Niagara, 
and escaped from the British while his sentinels were drunk and asleep. 
The Captain was a very pleasant man, and very sociable. His only fail- 
ing, which I observed, was a degree of that almost universal quality 
called egotism. 

" 3d. Although I found myself in a very good bed in Maysville 
last night, I slept very little. I was not half so easy as on my straw. 
We parted to-day with Mr. and Mrs. Barry, who set out for Lexington. 



EXTRACTS FROM JOURNAL. — 1814. 105 

He appears to be a very good man, but not a great man. For our pas- 
sage he charged nothing, and in every respect treated us like a gentle- 
man. His lady seems to be a woman of a good disposition, but not 
well educated. They are, I think, a well-matched pair, and appear to be 
very happy. Different were their characters from that of a Captain 
Keshing, a passenger, who was affected in his language, and contracted 
in his disposition. Toward all the articles of provision which we 
purchased coming from Pittsburg he paid ninepence, and half of that 
he took 'from a negro fellow on board while making change, and as was 
thought, intentionally. We had one other companion, a Dr. Wilson, of 
Kentucky, whose physiognomy did not promise much ; but we were dis- 
appointed ; we found him pleasant and well educated. To all these we 
bid adieu, resolving to stay in Limestone till to-morrow. 

"At Limestone. — We were surprised to see boys rowing our 
skiff away without ceremony, and we were told that it would certainly 
be stolen in the night unless we could put it in some boat or lock it. 
We, however, walked out to see the town, and came to a Methodist 
church, where a preacher was bawling, after the manner of his sect. Not 
being much edified, and having taken considerable alarm for the safety 
of our skiff, we returned to the shore. Here . I watched it while my 
friend went and procured some articles of provision. Once three great 
women had loaded themselves into it, and a young fellow was just ready 
to row them off. I, however, spoiled their fun. After taking dinner, 
at two o'clock, we left the place. Limestone, or more properly Mays- 
ville, lies on a high bank on the left side of the river, and commands not 
an extensive, but a beautiful prospect. The town has some fine houses, 
but partakes much of the dirt and negligence which characterize all 
the towns I have seen on this river. 

" We had proceeded but about six miles, in excellent spirits, when we 
were met by a violent wind, which was soon accompanied with rain. The 
river became so rough that our boat was in danger, and we landed at a 
house which the man called ' a kind of a tavern.' Observing a plant- 
er's house near, -fte walked towards it, and, although unwilling, to satisfy 
my friend I consented to call. We found an old gentleman and lady 
named Mitchell, who, after some conversation, grew fond of us and in- 
vited us to take supper and spend the night. We took supper, but de- 
clined staying, under pretence that we must visit our skiff, but really 
because we did not wish to lay ourselves under the obligation. We re- 
turned to our tavern, and found it ' a kind of a tavern,' as the man had 
said. We were put into a bed the sheets of which were, I believe, bag- 
ging, or something as coarse. 

" Jfih. We made shift to sleep badly, and rising about seven were 
surprised to find the ground covered with snow. Again the old planter 



106 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

sent his son and urged us to go and take breakfast with him and spend 
the day. We declined, and the young gentleman sat down and took 
breakfast with us. We, however, called as we passed, and made the 
planter drink a bottle of porter with us. He then gave us a hearty 
hand-shake, as did his wife, and invited us to call, should we again pass, 
which we promised to do. Peace be under his hospitable roof ! We had 
just put off, when we observed two keel-boats floating together. My 
friend wished to go on board, but I said, ' No, they will only blackguard 
us.' I yielded, however ; arid as we approached we found on board a 
Mr. Lambert, who had boarded with us at Pittsburg. (I write while my 
friend is rowing, and he spatters so that I can write no more.) Towards 
night we again went on board the keels, which are two beautiful barges 
bound to New Orleans, named Mary and Eliza. The names brought to 
mind the tender scenes which had passed, and I sighed at the remem- 
brance. 

" We continued on board till ten o'clock, when we went ashore and 
took lodgings in the house of an Ohio squire. The family were all 
grannies. 

" 5th. Set out after breakfast. This forenoon we tied for a while 
alongside of a •flatboat which had overtaken us, but thinking our com- 
pany not very acceptable, I rowed away, and arrived at Cincinnati before 
it. This place appeared the most beautiful of any I have seen on the 
Ohio. 

" We took lodgings at Edson & Carlton's tavern, and wandered out to 
see the place. We went through all the principal streets, and visited 
the brewery. A gentleman interested had the politeness to lead us 
through the building and vaults. It was new to me and very gratifying. 
It has been in operation but three years, and, considering its age, is very 
extensive. 

" The scenery around this town is beautiful, especially on the opposite 
bank, where stands Newport ; which contains many beautiful houses, an 
arsenal, fields and orchards now putting on their gayest attire. In the 
evening was introduced to a Yankee named Bayley, from Massachusetts, 
and had considerable conversation. 

" 6th. This morning, walked again, and visited some of the most 
beautiful situations in the town, after which I went into the court, now 
sitting here. It is held in a small dwelling-house in consequence of the 
burning of the court-house, which happened a few weeks since. With 
my friend I then visited a stupendous building on the river-bank, pre- 
pared for a steam-mill and other machinery. It is six stories high to- 
ward the river, and I believe four towards the land. We then visited a 
cotton-factory, the machinery of which is moved by a horse. 

" In the afternoon we crossed the river, rambled over Newport, took 



EXTRACTS FROM JOURNAL. — 1814. 107 

a view of the beautiful plantation of General James Taylor, entered the 
arsenal yard, in a separate part of which are about six hundred British 
prisoners, part of Proctor's army, and then returned. I then called 
with my friend on two countrymen of his, and was introduced to them 
and another gentleman named Hopkins, with whom my friend had a 
prospect of getting employment. 

" 7th. My friend will stay in Cincinnati with Mr. Hopkins, as clerk 
in a store soon to be opened by him. In consequence of this, I resolved 
to dispose of our joint property and set" out immediately for Lexington. 
Accordingly, we sold our things for one half their value, and divided the 
money. In endeavoring to sell our skiff, we found a Spaniard who had 
fled from the ruins of Saragossa with a wife, two sisters, a grandfather, 
and I believe some other relatives. He wished to buy a skiff to descend 
the river and find a place to live. On his relating his misfortunes to 
my friend in Spanish, he proposed to me to give him our skiff, and I 
consented. Having adjusted everything, I took leave of my friend 
with mutual promises of correspondence, crossed the river, and left my 
trunk and great coat with a Mr. Kennedy, to be sent on by the first 
conveyance. I left Cincinnati with strong impressions in its favor ; for 
it is a beautiful and growing place, and the people appear civil and 
friendly. It is said now to contain about 600 houses, and the number 
is fast increasing. There is little doubt that it will be the first place 
in Ohio. 

" I walked through a fertile country, but possessed by a people evident- 
ly poor, and living in miserable log habitations. A little after dark I 
rapped at a house and inquired how far to a tavern. A woman within 
answered about half a mile. I thanked her, but found in the event that 
I had little reason, for I went nearly seven miles through woods before 
I found a single house which was inhabited. The people were in bed, 
but I gained admittance, and permission to sleep on the floor. The man 
furnished me with a coverlet, with which I lay down upon a chair. I 
now inquired if there was any danger in passing through the woods in 
the night. The man said there was no danger, but that the woods were 
full of wolves. He believed there were few bears, and no panthers. 

" 8th. My bed was so uncomfortable that I did not sleep much, 
and therefore rose early, thanked my host, and departed. In about three 
miles I found a very decent tavern, kept by a Mr. Gaines, where I took 
breakfast. I then walked on about twelve miles to a Mr. Brumback's, a 
queer old Jerseyman. In conversation with his wife, I understood her 
to say that she was one of the old Virginia w s, but was told after- 
wards that she must have said hoes (Tankahoes). I do not know what 
the latter expression can mean, except by conjecture. When I said I 
came from Massachusetts, — ' Lord,' said she, ' how people does travel 



108 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

about' After having diverted myself thus awhile, I lay down and took 
a nap, and then walked nine miles farther to Mr. Arnold's. 

" I am told the farms on this road are small, from four to forty acres, 
and was somewhat surprised to find very few slaves. Once to-day I 
overtook a number of children going home from school. I found at 
Mr. Arnold's two gentlemen travelling towards Lexington on horseback. 
After some conversation one of them informed me he lived in Spring- 
field, Ohio, where is an excellent opening for a lawyer. From his de- 
scription, I am much of the same opinion, and felt some inclination to 
turn my face thither. But I finally concluded it was best to go to Lex- 
ington and continue there for a time, where I shall again see this gentle- 
man, whose name is Fisher. The other gentleman was from Massachu- 
setts, named Hill, and knew many people who were known to me. 

" It is very sickly in Lexington, with what I suppose was, in the North, 
called the spotted fever. It is said that from seven to fourteen are 
buried daily. The disease has likewise prevailed in some places in the 
country, and a son-in-law of our landlord is now sick within a few rods 
of this place. 

" I am so lame in the knees this evening, that it is very doubtful 
whether I move to-morrow. 

" 9th. Mr. Fisher had the goodness to offer me a horse, if I could 
procure a saddle. I attempted it, but was unable. He bid adieu to me, 
promising to see me in Lexington. Feeling restless, I set out past eight 
o'clock, and with considerable fatigue walked fifteen miles to Mr. Nel- 
son's. The country was generally hilly, but the soil good. I was told 
that land sold in this part for $ 1.00 to $ 7.00 per acre, according to its 
situation and improvements. There are very few slaves on this road, 
except the white people, who are slaves to themselves and whiskey. 

"10th. In consequence of the unfavorable appearance of the day, 
the muddiness of the roads, and my own fatigue, I did not set out this 
day. I found the landlord and his lady pleasant company, and a daugh- 
ter of theirs, who had been out, returned home in the afternoon, which 
added somewhat to the pleasure of the day. I also found the 'Journal 
of the Expedition of Captains Clarke and Lewis,' which I read to their 
arrival at the Pacific Ocean. 

" 11th. Last night was rainy, and the morning cloudy. However, 
I set out about eight o'clock and went six miles to a Mr. Hunter's. As 
he was about to start for Georgetown with a lead-horse, he offered her to 
me if I would ride on a blanket. I accepted, and rode so about three 
miles, when I got a saddle, and we arrived in Georgetown about sunset. 
The old gentleman gave me some advice with regard to my behavior 
here, and, among the rest, to be sure and keep my finances under my. 
own control. 



THEN AND NOW. 109 

" At Georgetown he introduced me to a house which was not the best. 
The man appeared as if he loved whiskey, and the woman her ease. In 
the evening I went to hear a Methodist preacher, and found him a well- 
informed but noisy man. He had much flower, and some bombast. On 
the whole I was well entertained. 

" 12th. Bid adieu to my friend Mr. Hunter, and set out for Lexing- 
ton, through a fine country covered with beautiful plantations. About 
twelve I arrived in sight of Lexington. The neighborhood is one of 
the most beautiful spots I ever beheld. • It is not hilly nor level, but 
gently waving, with an exuberance of verdure, many orchards in bloom, 
and many gardens laid out with taste. 

" The town appeared pleasant, but of that I cannot now give a de- 
scription. I am excessively lame in my left knee, and fear it will con- 
tinue some days." 

Thus it will be seen that Mr. Kendall left Boston on the 21st 
of February, and after spending eight days in Washington, eight 
in Pittsburg, and three in Cincinnati, he reached Lexington, Ky., 
on the 12th of April. 

Four days were occupied in travelling from Boston to New York, 
a journey which now (in 1871) occupies about eight hours. 

From New York to Philadelphia was then two days ; now about 
four hours. And there is the same difference between Philadel- 
phia and Baltimore. From Baltimore to AVashington was one 
day's hard travel ; now it is an easy journey of an hour and a half. 

Washington was then nine days distant from Pittsburg ; now the 
journey is made in about as many hours. 

Then there was no public conveyance beyond Pittsbiirg. The 
only modes of travel, west of that point, were riding on horseback 
or boating on the rivers. Though two steamboats had been built, 
they were slow and unsafe. The travel from West to East was on 
foot or on horseback, and from East to West by flatboats down 
the river, and from the river to the right and left on horse- 
back or on foot. Now rapid steamers traverse all the navigable 
Western rivers, railroads intersect vast regions then a howling 
wilderness, and the railroad-cars run to the Pacific Ocean. 

Then the ordinary mail from AVashington to Lexington occu- 
pied about twelve days in its transit, while an express mail carry- 
ing only letters made the trip in eight days. Now railroads convey 
letters and newspapers in less than three days, and the telegraph 
flashes intelligence ahead of time. 



110 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

Then all transportation of merchandise and baggage other than 
such as could be conveyed on horseback from the Eastern cities to 
the Ohio river, and thence into the interior, was by means of slow- 
moving covered wagons. Now the swift railroad engine, with its 
train of heavily laden cars, ascends the mountains, threads the val- 
leys, and darts across the prairies. 

But why should we attempt here to depict the wonderful ad- 
vancement of our country between 1814 and 1871 ? 

When Mr. Kendall passed through New York, the frigate " John 
Adams," with John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, and the other 
commissioners who afterward negotiated the treaty of peace with 
Great Britain, was lying below waiting for a fair wind. Little 
did he then think of living in Mr. Clay's family, or of the political 
relations which should afterwards exist between him and Mr. Clay. 

Mr. Grundy, to whom, at Mr. Bichardson's instance, he had writ- 
ten before he left Groton, he many years afterwards met at Wash- 
ington, a Senator in Congress, and was finally with him in Mr. 
Van Buren's cabinet. 

Governor Cass, who was a fellow-passenger in the stage from 
Georgetown, he long afterwards met in public life at Washington, 
and was associated with him in General Jackson's cabinet. 

Mr. Wilkins, to whom he delivered a letter of introduction, and 
by whom he was most kindly treated at Pittsburg, he encountered 
as a member of the United States Senate in General Jackson's ad- 
ministration, and knew him afterwards as Secretary of War under 
John Tyler. 

Major Barry, with whom he descended the Ohio Eiver, became 
for years his personal and political friend and associate in Ken- 
tucky, and in 1829 was at the same time with himself appointed by 
General Jackson to an office in Washington. 

And, subsequently, he received from Mr. Fliigel, the German 
friend whom he had first met in the stage at McConnellstown, and 
•with whom he crossed the mountains and descended the Ohio 
Biver, a letter dated in Leipsic, Germany, where the writer then 
resided, soliciting the appointment of United States Consul at that 
place, which, at Mr. Kendall's instance, was bestowed upon him. 

At Maysville, Ky., Mr. Fliigel, while Mr. Kendall watched their 
skiff to prevent its being stolen, went up into the town to procure 
some change, and came back with a handful of cut money. Never 
having before seen or heard of that kind of currency, Mr. Kendall 



CUT MONEY AND SHINPLASTERS. m 

at first thought an imposition had been practised upon his friend ; 
but he was mistaken. The banks of the West were then in a 
state of suspension, and the small change of the country consisted 
of the fragments of silver coins cut into two or more parts. Thus, 
a dollar cut into four parts made four quarter dollars, and cut into 
eight parts, so many twelve and a half cent pieces. Halves and 
quarters were also cut to make smaller change ; but anything less 
than six and a quarter cents was wholly unknown. The cut 
money, however, was nearly all fraudulent. Five quarters, or nine 
twelve and a half cent pieces were sometimes made out of a dollar ; 
but the more general practice was to cut a slip out of the centre of 
the dollar, and make halves and quarters out of the balance. The 
smaller coins were treated in the same way, and doubtless some 
parties made considerable sums out of these clippings. They did 
not, however, at all interfere with the currency of these mutilated 
fragments, which constituted the small change of the country until, 
clipped as they were, they became more valuable than the bank- 
notes, when they disappeared, and their place was supplied by 
small tickets, issued by corporations and individuals, called " shin- 
plasters." Of these Mr. Kendall afterwards devised a form for 
the corporation of Georgetown, Ky., where he resided, having in 
the centre, stamped with leaden dies set with ordinary type, the 
form of the cut half and quarter dollar, etc., enabling the negroes 
and others who could not read to recognize their value upon in- 
spection. 

These tickets obtained a very wide circulation. When the 
banks resumed specie payments, the change tickets disappeared ; 
but the cut money never returned. 

As Mr. Kendall and his friend floated down the river between 
Maysville and Cincinnati, they observed that the heavy drift-wood 
progressed faster than their skiff. They therefore tied their skiff 
to the roots of a large floating tree nearly buried in the water, and 
were thus towed many miles. The solution of this problem is, 
that the current of the river is more rapid beneath than at the sur- 
face. A loaded boat will, consequently, float faster than an empty 
one. 

On Mr. Kendall's arrival in Lexington he found that Mr. Bled- 
soe, instead of living in Lexington as he supposed, resided about 
thirty miles distant ; but that he had rented a house in town, and 
was expected to move into it soon after his return from Washing- 



112 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

ton, then daily expected. He therefore remained quietly at Postle- 
thwaite's tavern, where he had no acquaintances, not even having 
registered his name, and waited for Mr. Bledsoe. The lameness in 
his knee, produced by his journey on foot from Cincinnati, kept 
him very much confined for some days ; but as soon as he could 
move with comfort he spent a large portion of his time in roaming 
about the town and neighborhood, exhilarated by the purity of the 
atmosphere and the luxuriance of the vegetation. The wood pas- 
tures, so called, were particularly novel and interesting. Origi- 
nally, the site of Lexington and the surrounding country were cov- 
ered with heavy timber, under which was a thick growth of cane so 
intertwined with pea- vine as to be almost impenetrable to man and 
beast. The leaf of the cane very much resembled that of Indian- 
corn, and constituted the favorite food as well of the buffalo as of 
domestic cattle. As soon as the latter became numerous, they fed 
the cane so closely as to kill it as well as the pea- vine, leaving the 
forests without any undergrowth. The cane and vine were soon 
replaced by a thick and luxuriant growth of blue-grass ; affording, 
perhaps, the richest pastures in the world, — as beautiful to look 
upon and wander over as pleasure-grounds kept in order by in- 
cessant labor in other regions. But the thought would intrude, 
that even the beauties of these natural parks are transitory, for 
there is no young growth to take the place of the trees that are 
destroyed by the axe or by time, and that at no distant day the 
forest must entirely disappear. 

On the 18th of April Mr. Kendall met Mr. Bledsoe in the 
street, who said his family would be settled in town in about a 
week, when he would be ready to carry into effect the arrangement 
made in Washington. But he suggested at the same time that 
Mr. Kendall might do better by becoming an assistant teacher in 
a neighboring academy. Connected with other circumstances, this 
suggestion raised a doubt as to Mr. Bledsoe's desire to fulfil the 
agreement. This doubt was strengthened by his failure to call, for 
further conversation, as he had promised, and leaving town without 
any explanation. Mr. Kendall's pride was touched, and he needed 
only to be satisfied that Mr. Bledsoe did not want him, to banish 
at once the thought of ever residing in his family. 

Thus far, he was without other acquaintances in Lexington than 
Major Barry and his lady, who were very polite, but neither they 
nor Mr. Bledsoe had introduced him to any other person. 



MORTIFICATION. H3 

A short distance from Lexington, in a beautiful piece of woods, 
was a ropewalk, then used as barracks for soldiers recruited in 
that region. Some of the officers stationed there boarded at Postle- 
thwaite's hotel, where Mr. Kendall had formed a speaking acquaint- 
ance with them. In one of his walks, on the 27th of April, while 
passing through the grove near the barracks, he observed a number 
of gentlemen sitting on the grass in the shade of the trees, enjoy- 
ing themselves with conversation and liquor. Among them were 
some of his tavern acquaintances, whose names he did not know. 
As he was passing within a few rods, some of them beckoned to 
him, and he approached. After inviting him to drink, one of them 
took him aside and asked his name, and then introduced him to 
the rest of the company. 

Among them were several young men of Lexington, with whom 
he had considerable conversation. One of them, named AVatkins, 
a half-brother of Henry Clay, then a law student, invited him to 
call at his room. 

The following is Mr. Kendall's record for the 30th day of April, 
1814: — 

" This- day I have suffered more mortification than ever at any period 
of my life. While walking the street, I saw Mr. Bledsoe in a crowd, 
and lie appeared to see me, but turned his head away. I crossed the 
street, and went to make my observations upon a company of troops 
which was parading at the market-house. When I returned, I passed 
him again, but, as he was reading a letter, I suppose he did not observe 
me. I went to the tavern, and after some time, on entering the bar- 
room, I saw him sitting in conversation with several gentlemen, and as 
I approached he put on his hat and pulled it down as if to avoid seeing 
me. I advanced, however, and, as I thought, catching his eye, went 
up with the intention of shaking hands and called him by name. The 
other gentlemen looked towards me, but he kept his head down as if he 
neither saw nor heard. Mortified and provoked, I turned aside to a 
window, stood a minute, and then, with no very pleasant emotions, went 
into another room and sat down alone. In a few minutes Mr. Bledsoe 
came into the room with Colonel Owens for some private conversation. 
On entering the room he stepped behind the Colonel, and seemed studi- 
ously to maintain that position until they finished their conversation, 
when they left the room. That he saw me, both now and before, I had 
no doubt. What were my feelings ! Here was intentional neglect and 
unnecessary mortification. To be thus treated by the man on whose 
promise I had come to this country is too much." 
8 



114 -AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

Mr. Kendall at once resolved that he would have nothing more 
to do with Mr. Bledsoe if he could avoid it, and began to inquire 
after employment in other directions. He saw nothing more of 
Bledsoe, who in fact never removed his family to Lexington. He 
was afterwards assured that he was mistaken in supposing that 
Mr: Bledsoe intentionally neglected and slighted him ; that he was 
so short-sighted that he could not recognize any one across the 
room ; that he was very eccentric, and that he had spoken in high 
terms of him (Kendall) among his friends, suggesting plans for his 
advantage. "When they met months afterwards, Mr. Bledsoe ex- 
pressed his regret that the arrangement between them had not been 
carried out, and remained very friendly to him in after years. 

Mr. Bledsoe was a man sui generis. He was endowed with 
splendid talents, and, with the exception of Henry Clay, was the 
most eloquent man in Kentucky. His manner was slow and 
deliberate, his language beautiful, his gestures graceful, and his 
thoughts communicated with the utmost clearness. But his 
talents were marred by excessive vanity, and finally destroyed by 
drink. 

In consequence of Mr. Bledsoe's treatment, Mr. Kendall made 
known to his new acquaintances his desire to find employment as 
a teacher. As invited, he called on young Watkins, who informed 
him that Mrs. Hart, with whom he boarded, desired to obtain a 
teacher for her two daughters, and afterwards, at her request, Mr. 
Kendall called and took tea with her. She seemed at once to take 
a lively interest in him, and of her own accord proposed to get up 
a school composed of the children of the first families in Lexing- 
ton, which would give him an income of a thousand dollars. She 
asked no testimonials from him of character or qualifications ; but 
he felt it due to her generous confidence to put into her hands the 
certificate voluntarily furnished him by Mr. Bichardson, and an- 
other from the Treasurer of Dartmouth College, showing that he 
had graduated at that institution. These papers were never asked 
for or returned, and Mr. Kendall was left without any written evi- 
dence in relation to his character and education. 

Mrs. Hart failed to get up the proposed school, for various rea- 
sons, — one of which was, that Mrs. Clay, who had five children of a 
teachable age, lived so far from town that it would be inconvenient 
for them to attend. She then said that if Mr. Kendall would live 
with her and teach her daughters, she would give him his board, 



ENGAGES AS TEACHER IN HENRY CLAY'S FAMILY. H5 

two hundred dollars a year, and the use of her late husband's 
library ; but she continued, " Mrs. Clay will do more for you, and 
wishes to see you at my house, between ten and eleven o'clock to- 
morrow." 

Mrs. Hart was the widow of one of Mrs. Clay's brothers. Mrs. 
Clay had recently returned from Washington, after a residence 
there of two or three years, and had collected her children around 
her, two of the eldest, Theodore and Thomas, having, during her. 
absence, been at a very ill-regulated school in Jessamine County. 

The next day, the 5th of May, Mr. Kendall met Mrs. Clay at 
Mrs. Hart's. She offered to give him his board, the use of Mr. 
Clay's library, and three hundred dollars a year, if he would teach 
her five children. Her offer was accepted, with the condition that 
he should be at liberty after six months to surrender his trust on 
furnishing a substitute as well qualified to teach as himself. The 
same day his trunk, which had been left at Cincinnati to be for- 
warded by a wagon, and which, he feared, had been lost, came 
safely to hand. 

One of the principal inducements for accepting Mrs. Clay's offer 
was the hope of profiting by Mr. Clay's friendship and advice on 
his return from Europe, then expected within a few months. 

On the 10 th of May Mr. Kendall left Postlethwaite's tavern, and 
became an inmate of Mr. Clay's family. He then had, of $ 216 
with which he left home, $ 17.75. He had sent back to his father 
a ten-dollar note pronounced counterfeit, and had expended about 
$ 30 for clothing. His expenses were much increased by taking an 
indirect route, and stopping unnecessarily at Washington and 
Pittsburg. His estimate was that he could have made the jour- 
ney by the direct route, without stopping, for $ 100. 

The family at Ashland then consisted of Mrs. Clay and seven 
children, the oldest of whom was about thirteen years. Five of 
these, two boys and three girls, constituted Mr. Kendall's charge. 
The two boys, respectively about twelve and thirteen years old, 
had, in the absence of their father and mother, been left at a school 
in a neighboring county, where there was no regular government, 
either in school or at their lodgings. The consequence was that 
they profited very little by their lessons, and became ungovernable 
in their tempers. All the children, except the oldest, were en- 
dowed with fine minds, and in that respect, the younger boy had 
few equals. At first Mr. Kendall was much discouraged at the 



116 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

prospect before him ; but by a mild firmness, and the countenance 
and support of Mrs. Clay, he by degrees reduced his refractory 
pupils to order and secured their respect. The boys would listen 
to him attentively, and he took every proper occasion to represent 
to them how essential it was, if they desired to acquire the char- 
acter of gentlemen, that they should not only be attentive to their 
studies, but learn to govern their tempers. It was not long before 
the improvement of the children, especially in their temper and 
manners, was very marked and most gratifying. Through Mrs. 
Clay, Mr. Kendall became acquainted with her relatives and 
friends, who treated him with the utmost kindness, and his time 
passed pleasantly, not only in his little school, but in the social 
circle. 

Mr. Kendall's manner of life, his observations, speculations, and 
troubles, during his residence in the family of Henry Clay, and for 
some time afterwards, are best illustrated by extracts from his 
journal : — 

" 1814, May 13th. My two boys, I perceive, have not been very 
well taught, and know almost nothing either of Latin or English gram- 
mar. They have begun in Caesar's Commentaries, and after having re- 
cited, I make them write out a translation of the whole, which I intend 
they shall copy into a book. This is with the design, not only of im- 
pressing it more strongly upon the memory, but of improving them in 
writing and in English grammar. 

" The oldest little girl reads and -writes, and bids fair to make an ex- 
cellent scholar. The second knows little of reading, and seems to be an 
idle, although a fine little girl. The third is yet in her Abs. The 
whole of them are passionate, and have never been governed at all. 
But they are by no means unmanageable. 

" 14-th. Thomas refused this forenoon to go to his lesson ; but, on 
being carried into the room, he yielded. 

" 17th. This evening a number of ladies called, and, for the first 
time in Lexington, I was merry with them. 

"20th. I find the children, especially the boys under my care, 
have been indulged till they are almost ungovernable. The oldest, 
Theodore, has the most amiable disposition, but Thomas is the smartest 
boy. They have been accustomed to fight each other, so that, at the 
school which they lately attended, they could not be boarded at the 
same place. Their father is almost always absent, and their mother has 
been so for nearly two years past, and they have been left to their own 
management. Their mother attempts to assert her authority over 



TEACHING IN THE FAMILY OF HENRY CLAY. H7 

them; but it is not supported with a steady hand. This evening 
Thomas began to whine and growl after his usual manner, when I looked 
towards him with an eye which, no doubt, expressed my feelings. Mrs. 
Clay, observing me, said to him, that he must take care, for Mr. Kendall 
was just ready to speak. And then said to me with perfect good-nature, 
that she had many times seen me nearly out of patience ; for she could 
tell. I blushed at perceiving my feelings were known, and made some 
indirect answer, which no doubt confirmed her opinion. However, I 
was not in reality ashamed of it ; for often have I been provoked to ask 
her to deliver the boys over to me. Thomas, however, grew worse and 
worse, until she was obliged to take him into a room, and, giving him a 
severe whipping, she actually conquered him. I congratulated her with 
real pleasure. 

" 25th. In conversation this evening, Mrs. Clay bade me ask her 
if I wanted money. I told her I would, and said I had short of twenty 
dollars, when she told me she would give me one hundred to-morrow ; 
I was affected by her generosity, and begged to be excused from taking 
It, for I was in no need at present. The true reason is, I cannot think 
of making myself so dependent. 

"27th. In the evening I had a long contest with three ladies on 
the impropriety of sending word to visitors that you are not at home. 
I sturdily maintained an adherence to truth, and was opposed on the 
plea of necessity. I often have such contests with Mrs. Clay, who is 
of the polite world. But I have as yet found no difficulty in adhering 
to my principles, and think I shall not yet quit them. 

"28th. We have news to-day that Paris is in possession of the 
allies. I lament it, as I would anything which would tend to destroy 
the power of France. 

"29th. Yesterday, Mrs. Clay being absent, Thomas got into a 
mighty rage with some of the negroes, and threatened and exerted all 
his little power to kill them. I took him into the office and held him 
until he was cool, and then let him go. Notwithstanding Mrs. Clay had 
told me to do this on such occasions, I perceived by her conversation 
to-day that she did not feel exactly right about it. I was surprised, but 
am resolved to interfere no more unless it be to save life. 

" June 9th. This evening there was a large party of ladies with 
several gentlemen at Mrs. Clay's. I was not very sociable, but silently 
made my observations. I find the company already have a butt, so if 
I am rather unsocial for a while, I shall have a good chance to escape 
unobserved. This evening Thomas got into a great rage after the depart- 
ure of the company, and at Mrs. Clay's request I dragged him, not 
very tenderly, into the office. He fought me like a tiger, and cursed 
me with all his might. ' You damned Yankee rascal,' cried he, ' you 



118 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

have been trying to make yourself of great consequence among the 
ladies this evening.' This he kept up for some time. At first I was 
provoked, and cuffed him once or twice, but not feeling myself author- 
ized to whip him, I let him bawl. Finally, I went out and asked his 
mother what I should do. She ordered him to bed, and he readily, 
though unexpectedly, complied. 

"10th. The sequel of last night's adventure exhibits a striking 
characteristic of that singular boy. He would not get up until I had 
gone to breakfast, nor even show himself at the table. Afterwards, 
when alone with his mother, he burst into tears. On being asked what 
was the matter, he said it was because he treated me so ill last night. 
He then mentioned an anecdote which is told of General Washington, — 
how that good man having in anger abused an officer, afterwards asked 
his pardon. He wished to ask pardon of me, but feared the other chil- 
dren would laugh at him. He, however, came up with his mother, who 
asked pardon for him, which was readily and heartily granted. Not- 
withstanding his foibles, he is an admirable boy. 

" 13th. Mrs. Clay this day once more offered me fifty dollars, but 
I declined accepting it. 

" 15th. This day I lent to Mrs. Anne Hart, widow of Captain 
Hart, who is living here, a selection from my poetiy containing all my 
best pieces. I will not deny that a wish to have my talent known was 
my strongest motive, and at first I intended to give it her, hoping she 
would show it to others. In this I was restrained by a diffidence which 
is eternally at war with my pride. After school, I offered to read my 
last play to her and Mrs. Clay. This same diffidence again rose upon 
me, and I thought for a while I should be obliged to desist, for want of 
a voice. But I was finally victorious. 

"17th. Arrived the news of the dethronement and abdication of 
Bonaparte. If this news be correct it is the greatest act in that great 
man's life. I call him a great man because his talents are great, not 
that I have any respect for his character. The most important view of 
this subject is as it respects ourselves. We are now left to contend sin- 
gle-handed against the whole power of Great Britain. I have lost 
every expectation of peace, for I do not believe that haughty nation 
will lose so good an opportunity to humble the rival of her com- 
merce. 

" Destroy everything which floats in our waters she certainly can, and 
if she does not lay waste our sea-coast, it will be because such would 
not be her interest. But we must breast the shock, and pray God to 
unite us and bring us off with honor. Young men are already talking 
here of going into the army, but it will be my last resort. 

" 19th. After this I returned home, and was obliged to listen to a 



TEACHING IN THE FAMILY OF HENEY CLAY. 119 

long talk in ridicule of religion or religious men. The parties concerned 

were Mr. and Mrs. Mentelle, professed deists, Mrs. , and Mrs. , 

who is, I believe, a deist in heart. To attempt reasoning, I find, does 
no good, and therefore I generally find it best to preserve a prudent 
silence. 

" 21st. I was surprised to-day by a call from Mr. James Dana, with 
whom I had a partial acquaintance in Boston and Groton. He has been 
to New Orleans, and returned through the wilderness. He will stay a 
few days in town, and then return to Boston. I shall load him with 
letters. 

" 25th. This day I went with others to give in an invoice of my 
rateable property, and attend a Kentucky training. One rateable poll 
is the amount of my whole fortune, and even that not without encum- 
brances. I suppose about two thirds of the company appeared, some 
without muskets, some with muskets without locks, and some with use- 
less pieces, — all without bayonets, uniform, or cartridge-boxes. The 
business seemed to be electioneering as much as training. After calling 
the roll, the captain drew up his men in a hollow square, for the accom- 
modation of a Mr. McKinley, who addressed them, offering himself as a 
candidate for election to the next General Assembly. 

" He gave a considerable dissertation on the subject of banking, and 
drew some conclusions which to me seemed incorrect. He was in favor 
of an extension of the system to an unlimited degree. He then took 
notice of the Kentucky revenue law, which it seems is rather unpopu- 
lar, and promised to attempt its repeal. National politics he carefully 
kept out of view, for it seems he is a Federalist. After he had finished, 
the company resumed their order, and marched to the whiskey-table 
under a tree, where, several more candidates arriving, they were dis- 
missed for a short time. I expected more public harangues ; but as 
there were now five or six candidates present, I suppose they had some 
reluctance to speak in the presence of each other. 

" Private talk was the only means now used, and after some time 
most of them departed. .The company again paraded and manoeuvred 
till about six o'clock, when they were dismissed. It was dull business, 
for they had neither fife, drum, nor whistling. This was the first stump 
oration I had ever heard. I was not so unpleasantly impressed as I 
expected. Although a good orator may often mislead the people, the 
system certainly has a tendency to gire them much useful information. 
It seems to be a sort of primary assembly, where future subjects ^of 
legislation are discussed, which are afterwards, in a measure, decided by 
the choice which the people shall make of their representative. But 
there seemed to be an indelicacy in a man's saying all this to promote 
his own election that I could not forgive. It seemed to me that I could 



120 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

have spoken there for a friend, but never for myself. Time may recon- 
cile me to it. 

" July 1st. Received a letter from my old friend Fowle. He seems 
to labor under a great barrenness of ideas, if that can be called 
a burden. Though an excellent fellow, he is not blessed with a very 
capacious intellect, and, I am afraid, is too indolent to give it the arti- 
ficial aid of extensive knowledge. There was a postscript from Rock- 
wood, in so cold a style that I fear he thinks I have neglected him. I 
am sensible that in his situation I should have expected more ; but I am 
equally sensible that much more is expected from a friend, when in a 
distant place, than he is able to perform. We seem to think the 
whole country where he is spread beneath his eye, so that he has 
nothing to do but look and write us the result.' However, I hope my 
last letter will set everything right. Fowle informed me that a Mr. 
Hunt was coming out from Boston, and Mr. J. Prentiss, of this town, 
told me that Hunt would come into his family, and that D. Rockwood 
was coming with him. 

" Jiih. Heard a common oration from a Mr. Breckenridge. The 
day was excessively rainy from about ten o'clock till the afternoon. Con- 
sequently I did not go to the dinner. 

" 10th. . Received a letter from Woodbury. He informs me that 
his Susan has made a profession of religion, and that Mary and Eliza 
are much engaged. Mary is teaching school in ' Shirley. This short 
article interested me more than all the rest of the letter. I am sure 
that my reason at least will never cease to prefer her to all with whom I 
am yet acquainted. 

"17th. This morning, Miss E. P. and some others being at Mr. 
Clay's, Mrs. Clay rallied her upon marrying a certain gentleman in town, 
when I blushed excessively. I know not whether any one observed it, 
but I know I felt like a fool. And a fool I am to let that lady so much 
interest me, when I know her so ill qualified to make a poor man happy. 
Except in beauty and amiableness of disposition, she will not bear a 
comparison with Mary. 

" 20th. Went to the circus. It is temporary, and supplied by an 
itinerant company. I was considerably diverted, but there was too 
much buffoonery intermingled. It appears little business to see men so 
employed, but there is much more satisfaction in seeing the arts whicb 
have been taught their horses. 

•" 22d. A requisition is made on this State for 5,500 militia, to be 
held in readiness to march at a moment's warning. It is said they are 
destined for New Orleans. If they have enrolled me, as was their duty, 
I shall be liable to a draft, and I care but little if' the lot should fall 
upon me. If I should manage well and return safe, it would give me a 
reputation which would be useful. 



TEACHING IN THE FAMILY OF HENRY CLAY. 121 

" 26th. I had long been desirous to hear a more particular account 
of Mrs. Price and her daughters, — for what reason I could hardly satisfy 
myself. In conversing of the family, I took occasion to ask if Mr. Price 
had left his wife any property. The answer led to a history of the 
family, which concluded with the remark that the girls would not prob- 
ably be married, as gentlemen did not like to marry where there is no 
fortune. I derived considerable satisfaction from this conversation, and 
I believe, because it seemed to destroy the difference between E. and 
myself ! 

" 30th. I was at Mrs. Hart's, Sr., this evening, when John and N. 
Watkins coming from the circus, the former proposed going to the thea- 
tre, where it was advertised there would be a concert by an Italian. For 
fifty cents each, we were admitted. He sang two or three Italian songs, 
accompanied by his Italian guitar, as he called it, and after giving one 
in French, he apologized, saying that he was so unwell he could 
play no more. After much urging, however, he played part of a tune 
on a clarionet, and broke off crying ' Hurra, America,' to raise the 
spirits of his audience. He is no doubt an impostor, who thus imposes 
on the public to pay his expenses. After leaving him, my companions 
proposed that I should celebrate the performance in poetry, which I 
promised to do. 

"31st. John Hart, with E. and A. P., called at Mrs. Clay's this 
evening, and when I had read the rough draft of my Pauvre Italien to 
him, he insisted that I should read it to the ladies. I declined, but he 
took it from me and carried it into the room, and as it was so much in- 
terlined that he could not read it, they all insisted that I should do it. 
I was never more embarrassed. I hesitated, declined, felt and looked 
and acted like a fool, and at last read it. 

" August 1st. Had a letter two days ago from my long-lost friend, 
E. Shipley, and one this day from , Esq., both of whom have be- 
come Democrats. The former is practising law in Saco, Me. For 

's reasons we need not look beyond interest, but Shipley's is 

because the Federalists are attempting to divide the Union. 

" 5th. Mrs. Clay had a small party this evening, and I must needs 
be again requested to show my silly poetry. I put it into John Hart's 
hands, and went out. Having, as I thought, given time sufficient 
for the reading, I returned, and found a young man murdering it at a 
mournful rate. So provoked was I, that I took and finished it myself. 
Of the poetry I am actually ashamed, it is so silly. 

" 12th. Spent some time this evening with the Misses Price and 
Miss Hart, more to my satisfaction than at any time since I have been in 
Lexington. J. Hart returned to me a manuscript of my poetry which I 
had lent him some days since. 



122 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

" 13th. I have read of law, since I have been here, most of the gen- 
eral laws of Kentucky and the first volume of Blackstone. A multi- 
tude of miscellaneous books I have read, and have now begun the 
' History of Russia,' by Tooke. 

"14th. Attended church in the forenoon, and spent the afternoon 
at home, where were Mrs. Shelby, daughter of Doctor Pindell, an ami- 
able woman, and Doctor Pindell himself. Inquiries rose where Ghent 
was situated. I took the Atlas, and in tumbling it over, found a piece 
of paper written in my hand. I crushed it up and was securing it. 
This raised the cui'iosity of Mrs. Clay, who said it was some of my love- 
letters. I told her no, and that she might see. She took it, but as it 
was carelessly written, she could make no progress, so I took it from 
her hand, saying that I would read it. It purported to be from an In- 
dian to his brother, giving an account of the persons and manners of the 
Kentuckians. It raised some laughter, and Mrs. Clay took it from my 
hands, and said she would keep it to bear witness against me, as I had 
made very free with some of their notions. Now, the fact was, I was 
desirous to have it seen, and had put it there for that purpose, but had 
entirely forgotten it, and should then have destroyed it had she let me 
alone. However, in this thing I was actuated more by vanity than any 
honorable motive. 

" 15th. "Wrote to my old classmate, J. Danforth, and half an hour 
before sunset went to the post-office. I returned, and passing through 
my room, sat with Mrs. Clay till about nine o'clock. I had left my 
watch hanging on a nail, as usual, and, as I entered the room, looked to 
see the time, and lo, it was gone. A counterpane was likewise taken 
from the boy's bed. A negro girl in the house was seen in the room, 
and therefore suspected. She had stolen before, and on being severely 
whipped, said she had taken them, and named several places, one after 
another, where she had put them, but they were not to be found. Al- 
though she at the outset denied having been in the room, I was finally 
convinced that she had not taken the things, and desired she might be 
whipped no more on my account. Indeed, I could hardly justify my- 
self for permitting her to be whipped at all, for it is more like torture 
than justice. 

" 16th. (His birthday.) This year of my life is ushered in with 
several attentions from the good people here not at all to my taste, — 
my watch stolen, notice this morning to attend a company of militia 
to-morrow to stand a draft, and in the afternoon a warrant to one regi- 
mental and two company musters. No news of the watch. I went this 
evening and left descriptions of it at all the silversmiths ; but I have 
no expectations of ever finding it. All these things have very little 
effect on my spirits, although Mrs. Clay says it is otherwise. Indeed, 



TEACHING IN THE FAMILY OF HENRY CLAY. 123 

I had almost as lief be drafted as not. I want to see what soldiers 
suffer. 

" 17th. When I came upon the muster-ground to-day, and saw by 
what men I was surrounded, and heard all speaking of the draft with 
so much dread, my heart failed, and I earnestly wished myself clear of it. 
Our company consisted of fifty-eight men fit for duty, out of which twelve 
were to be taken. I drew into the third class, which, of course, con- 
tained five. I offered twenty or even thirty dollars, to enable the one 
who should be drafted to hire a substitute, but none of the class would 
give more than ten, and two nothing at all. I now gave up, and deter- 
mined to go if drafted ; for I had not money to hire a substitute, and I 
would not borrow. Three of us finally agreed to give to either of us 
who should be drafted five dollars each, but it fell upon one of those 
who would give nothing. I was considerably relieved, and we went 
away and drank together. I was astonished at, so great an aversion to 
the service in the patriotic State of Kentucky. $150 is given for sub- 
stitutes, and they do not know that they will be obliged to march. 

" About three o'clock I set out for home, after having drank con- 
siderable whiskey, eaten watermelons, etc., and was stupid as a dunce 
through the evening. 

"18th. Read Lord Byron's 'Corsair.' The measure does not flow 
so easy as the eight syllable, and sometimes his lines appear stretched. 
"Where words may be left out without injury to the sense, the language 
is weaker than it should be. 

"19th. One of those mortifying little incidents, which may be 
called the miseries of human life, happened to me. There was a dia- 
logue in the Boston ' Patriot,' which now comes to me, in which Mr. 
Clay is introduced with King George, and the Emperors, Kings, etc., etc., 
now in England. The object is to ridicule their Majesties, and bring to 
view their real motives. I was about to read it to Mrs. Clay, and read- 
ing over the names, observed that they had put Mr. Clay into bad com- 
pany. At this she took such dislike, that I had scarcely begun when she 
interrupted me by ' That ,'s silly, that 's silly.' I got off as well as I 
could by reading detached pieces of it, but could hardly conceal my 
mortification. 

" 22d. Received a letter from my friend Fliigel. Either he is an 
arrant, flattering hypocrite, or his heart is much warmer than mine. 
The affection which he expresses I am sure I can never feel except for a 
woman. 

" 23d. Mrs. Clay being gone, the care of the boys devolved in a 
great measure upon me. Hearing a great noise in the kitchen, I went 
in, and found Theodore swearing in great rage, with a knife drawn in 
attitude to stab one of the big negroes. I did not wait to inquire the 



124 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

cause, but seized him by the collar, took the knife away, and very ex- 
peditiously had him in the house. If he were my boy I would break 
him of such tricks if it cost blood. 

" 27th. Attended a temporary muster. The soldiers are under no 
more restraint than a herd of swine. Eeasoning, remonstrating, threat- 
ening, and ridiculing their officers show their sense of equality and 
their total want of subordination. The officers are, I presume, clever 
men, but ignorant and without energy. An attempt is here making to 
raise a rifle company, and I consented that my name should be put to 
it, but as my stay here will be temporary, declared I could not equip. 
From this they promised to excuse me. The day being rainy, I returned 
home, wet, muddy, and disgusted. 

" 28th. This day I received a letter from my friend Carter, who 
previous to the receipt of my letter had engaged himself for another 
year in his academy. The consequence is that he will not be able to 
take my place next winter, and I must either find another to do it, or 
remain a year myself. I am inclined to think I shall do the latter, 
however contrary to my inclination. The forenoon previous to the re- 
ceipt of this I had written to Mr. Eichardson, giving a statement of 
circumstances, and asking his advice whether! should remain in Lex- 
ington. Carter strongly advises me to stay. I have finished reading a 
new novel by Miss Edgeworth, entitled, ' Patronage.' Good, but too 
long. 

" September 2d. It is reported to-day that the city of "Washington 
is taken and burnt. I shall not be surprised to hear the news con- 
firmed. Finished the History of Russia, by Tooke. A wretched per- 
formance without thought or arrangement. 

" 3d. Set out with a view of calling at Mr. James Prentiss's, but 
met Thomas at the gate, who informed me they were just going to the 
circus. He told me that he had conversed with two gentlemen of Rus- 
selville, that the place is well supplied with lawyers, but that there is 
a school in the place for which they want an instructor, and will give 
any price. If I should have any inclination to engage, he bid me call 
on Mr. Crittenden, of Lexington, who had a brother there. The idea 
of engaging in a school at any price is not agreeable to me, but I think 
I shall call and converse with Mr. Crittenden. Afterwards I called on 
the Misses Price. I am not at home there. Ease in conversation is 
the greatest charm in a family, but here it seems to be far otherwise. 
It is by continual exertion only, and suggesting every new idea myself, 
that anything is said. I have heard them complain of unsociable gen- 
tlemen, but I am sure the fault is more their own. 

" 4th. In the morning had a conversation with Mr. Crittenden, and 
learned that the salary of the school at Russelville has been about $750 



TEACHING IN THE FAMILY OF HENRY CLAY. 125 

and that their wish is probably to obtain a permanent preceptor. I 
told him $ 1,000 -would induce me to engage for one year, but as I 
learned that there was little chance of the terms being acceptable, and 
even less that I could then settle there with any prospect of success, I 
bade him trouble himself no more about it. I think it very likely if 
one would engage for several years, they would give $1,000, and I may 
repent that I did not pursue the matter further. But the business of 
teaching is so inconsistent with my ambition and inclination, that I 
cannot think of it. 

" 5th. The loss of Washington and destruction of public buildings 
is confirmed. It seems to have been taken on the evening of the 24th 
ult., after considerable fighting, in which American militia could not 
stand against British regulars. We have not yet received authentic 
particulars. The impression on the resources of the country will not 
be materially felt, but I fear the final consequence will be a change of 
the seat of government. Personal, and in some respects, public con- 
venience, has long since called it to Philadelphia ; but thus to make 
the United States Congress dependent on any particular State would be, 
in my opinion, a most unfortunate event. 

" 6th. A sort of air-castle came into my head. John Hart, brother 
to Mrs. Clay, has lost nearly half his fortune by a partner in business, 
and although it becomes necessary to go into business himself, he has 
an unconquerable aversion to its drudgery. My air-castle was this, — 
to propose to him to vest a given capital and commit the drudgery to 
me, under conditions. Afterwards, Mrs. Clay told me that she had al- 
most persuaded John to adopt the very plan which my fancy had laid, 
excepting what regards myself. This put me upon thinking seriously on 
the subject. The question for my decision is, whether I shall make 
such a proposal 1 The changing one's whole course of life requires too 
much thought for one day. 

" 7th. This day I have been one hour a liberal-minded merchant 
calculating gains, promoting science and literature, and extending my 
connections for trade and knowledge to every part of the country ; the 
next, an eloquent lawyer defending the cause of innocence, basking in the 
sunshine of popularity, getting rich, and then thundering with Cicero- 
nian eloquence in the Congress of the United States. On the whole, I 
think the latter course most brilliant, and best adapted to my knowledge, 
talents, and ambition. Not that I shall ever realize all the enchanting 
prospects of fancy, but they will keep my mind alive, and give a spring 
to every exertion. With these thoughts is connected a half-formed 
resolution to settle in Lexington. However, I shall not form the other . 
half at present. Still, I may introduce the subject of turning merchant 
to John Hart, should a proper opportunity offer in conversation. 



126 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

" 10th. John Watkins, half-brother to Mr. Clay, had been attempt- 
ing to raise a rifle company, and this was the day appointed for a choice 
of officers, etc. But it appeared that they had all mistaken the law, 
which requires every company to consist of sixty-four privates, and for- 
bids any militia company being reduced below that number by the rais- 
ing of independent companies. I had consented that my name should 
go with the rest, more to promote a thing which I should consider use- 
ful, than expecting to derive any benefit. But we concluded to quit on 
the spot, for the foregoing very good reason, as we had but about thirty 
men. So the afternoon was spent in drinking whiskey and pitching dol- 
lars, till I was entirely out of patience. I stayed more than two hours 
longer than I wished, for the sake of my company, who seemed to think 
I was too soon tired with them. 

" I have, I think, learnt the way to be popular in Kentucky, but do 
not as yet put it in practice. Drink whiskey and talk loud, with the 
fullest confidence, and you will hardly fail of- being called a clever 
fellow. 

" 15th. This evening I received a useful check from Mrs. Clay, al- 
though given in severer terms than the occasion required. N. "Watkins 
was present, and in conversation I observed that I believed there was 
very little literary taste in Lexington. She bid me take care, I must 
not say that, and went on to compare Western men with Northern men, 
to the disadvantage of the latter. I defended my countrymen. My 
principal points were, that the people were not only better, but better 
informed. She said I was too much prejudiced in favor of my own 
country, and knew very little of this. I observed, I believed I knew as 
much of this as the Kentuckians did of that. Her eyes sparkled, but 
the remark was as just as it was cutting. However, she quit the argu- 
ment, and said I ought not to say so much ; that it was disgusting to 
hear one always praising their own country. I told her I knew precise- 
ly to what feeling my observations were addressed. She said I ought 
not to say all I thought. Said I, with a smile, I do not say all I think, 
which, although it did not mend the matter, caused a pause in the dis- 
pute. Watkins had supported her, but after a short silence, whether 
she thought she had gone too far, or thought my feelings injured, she 
said to Watkins that she should like to become acquainted with the 
literary men of Lexington, and went on to support almost precisely the 
same opinions I had advanced. After he was gone, she resumed her 
remarks, but I neither seconded nor disputed. Thus I have often found 
it the case, that she will dispute with me at the time, and afterwards 
adopt my opinion. However, although I think I was perfectly correct 
in all I said, it taught me in practice what I before knew in theory, 
and will put me on my guard for the future. 



TEACHING IN THE FAMILY OF HENRY CLAY. 127 

" 21st. Did duty in the militia. We had a barbecue in the field, 
of which I partook, not because I was pleased with the principle on 
which it was provided, but because I was hungry. It seems it was a 
proposal of the Captain to remunerate Mr. Picket, who had been fined 
for selling whiskey to his company without license. 

" 26th. I have finished a little story of Kotzebue's, called ' Zaida,' 
with a short dramatic piece called the ' Beautiful Unknown.' Also, this 
evening finished the History of Massachusetts. I have gained some 
knowledge from it ; but it has been tedious to me and my hearers. 

" 80th. This morning was awakened by a firing of musketry, at 
first scattered, then frequent and continued. It was a little after day, 
and going to the door, I distinctly saw the flashes of the muskets a little 
more than half a mile distant. The morning was clear and still, and 
the echo sounded like a roll of thunder. I supposed it a sham-fight of 
the soldiers, but learnt that it was a drill-muster of militia officers. 

" About seven o'clock the mail arrived with the news of McDonough's 
victory on Lake Champlain, and the repulse of the enemy at Plattsburg. 
A firing of cannon and small arms commenced, and continued about an 
hour. In the evening a large part of the town was illuminated. 

" October 1st. This day I wrote to Hon. J. B. Varnum, according to 
his request. I was almost resolved to apply for a commission in the 
army, should more troops be raised, but have deferred it for the present. 

" This day arrived the news of Jackson's victory at Mobile. Twenty 
guns announced it to the public, and in the evening almost every house 
in town was filled with lights. I had been to town, and returned, not 
knowing of the intended illumination ; but on seeing the white cloud 
of light slowly brightening over the houses, I resolved to be present. I 
started, but on my way was arrested by the appearance of a thousand 
lights in the woods on my left. I turned aside and found the barracks 
most romantically illuminated by rows of candles on the tops of the 
buildings, and others perched among the boughs and in the tops of the 
trees. With feelings highly electrified, I proceeded to the town. Many 
a hovel, which had scarce a pane of glass to admit the light of heaven, 
was lined in front with candles. Through the glaring windows, as I 
passed along, many faces of wrinkled age and blooming youth appeared 
beaming with joy. The pleasure of the ignorant laborer, whose bosom is, 
notwithstanding, warmed by patriotism, is perhaps, on such occcasions, 
greater than that of a more cultivated mind. However, I passed into 
the town, and was highly delighted, until a procession, headed by drum 
and fife, paraded the street with a thousand candles, and began to break 
dark windows. Strongly as any one, do I despise the man who would 
not light a candle to participate in his fellow-citizens' joy : but I would 
leave him to the darkness of his own bosom. Few were broken, except 



128 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

in shops. The procession was often saluted by muskets, to which they 
responded by continual cheers. Pictures and emblems were displayed 
in different places, and the streets were filled with men and ladies. I 
walked almost over the town alone, though I had called at Mrs. Hart's 
with hopes of finding the young ladies ; but they were already gone. 
About nine o'clock I returned home fatigued, but much pleased with 
the evening. 

" Jfih. This evening was at a party at Mrs. Nelly Hart's, given by 
Thomas to Colonel Croghan, the hero of Sandusky. Before breakfast I 
wrote an ode, before dinner copied it, and it was handed round in the 
evening. I thought myself it was not contemptible, and my vanity was 
gratified by the praises bestowed upon it. It was shown to the Colonel, 
immediately after which he was introduced to me ; but from a diffidence 
not very common between the flatterer and flattered, not a word more 
was said. This conduct very much raised my opinion of the man, al- 
though a conversation would have been very agreeable. His counte- 
nance pleased me much better than when I saw him on Sunday, and on 
the whole, he is an intelligent, pleasant-looking man. 

" Of the gentlemen at this party little can be said. They were gen- 
erally unsocial, and paid little attention to the ladies, excepting the 
Colonel and one or two other officers. I was told that wine was not 
put on the side-board, lest some of the young men should get tipsy. Of 
ladies, I suppose there were about forty, of all sorts of faces. The most 
beautiful I saw was Eliza P. There are very few who are beautifid. 
With their dress, especially that of the more fashionable class, I find the 
same fault as with the ladies of Washington, - — they have monstrous 
bosoms behind. The shoulders are so bound back with corsets, that 
the skin is wrinkled, and a huge valley appears between them, far from 
lovely or agreeable. 

" 7th. Had a letter from Mr. "Richardson. It contains some ex- 
cellent advice, which, if I will follow, he bets his life that I will succeed 
in Lexington. I shall preserve it as my practical creed." 



CHAPTEE V. 

" 1814, October 10th. I have determined to go to Frankfort day after 
to-morrow, and apply for license to the Court of Appeals, — the highest 
court in the State. My object is to have a license which will carry the 
greatest weight with it, should I leave the State. 

" 12th. Having waited in town from past seven to nine for Major 
Barry, on whom I relied to introduce me to the judges at Frankfort, I 
set out for that place alone. I found the country similar to that around 
Lexington, until I approached the capital, where it becomes hilly. On 
all the road, but a small part of the land is cleared. 

" All at once the capital of Kentucky opens upon the view on the 
right, on a little spot of flat ground almost under you, and surrounded 
by hills. The Kentucky River, now a small and dirty stream, winds 
along among these, and so deep and crooked is its channel, that it 
scarcely makes an opening. The town is not at all pleasant, except to 
those who look down upon it from the hills. 

" It was about two o'clock, and Barry had not arrived. I dined, and 
wandered over the town and banks of the river until about four,, when, 
learning that he had not yet arrived, I began to think of some other 
method of being introduced. 

" Understanding that Mr. Wickliffe, a lawyer of Lexington, to whom 
I had been introduced, was in town, I sought for him, but in vain. I 
then adopted the only remaining alternative ; inquired the names of the 
judges, and introduced myself. They asked me some questions relative 
to my education, and bade me call after supper. I called, and was 
questioned for about an hour, and made several blunders. The ques- 
tions were more particular than I had been led to expect. Some per- 
son came in to do business, and I was told to call again after breakfast, 
to-morrow, and they woidd consider my case. I went away with the 
idea that their impressions were favorable. 

" 13th. I called again, and, contrary to my expectation, they proceeded 
to examine me further. This continued for nearly half an hour, and 
though for most of the questions an answer was on my tongue, I blun- 
dered in one, and in another I could not answer at all. The Chief Jus- 
tice asked the others if they had any questions to ask, to which they 
9 



130 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

answered, ' no.' He then asked what they thought of it. One of them, 
a suspicious-looking fellow, who seemed thoughtful, asked me if Mr. 
Barry had arrived. T answered them in the negative, when another 
of them said that he had. I rejoined that I would ask him in, if they 
wished to ask him any questions concerning me. ' No, no,' they said, 
and the suspicious-looking man asked if an answer before noon would 
do. I said ' yes,' and retired, not with the most pleasant feelings. In 
answer to what had been my course of reading, I 'had enumerated most 
of the books that I had read. I had blundered on some questions which 
one who has read so much ought to answer. I had told them I had 
depended on Major Barry to introduce me, and no Barry appeared, and 
when he did come I did not know it ; these circumstances led me to 
suspect they doubted my whole story. Nothing opposed this impression 
except my certificate from the county court. I now trembled for the 
event. What must be my mortification ! Can I return to Lexington ? 
With these feelings, I called on Barry and told him the judges seemed 
desirous of seeing some person who was acquaiuted with me. He 
promised to call. At ten o'clock I went into the court. Barry was 
there ; I asked him if he had seen the judges, - — ' no ' ; but he would at 
dinner. Here I sat listening in torment to the proceedings till half 
past one. I often caught the judge's eyes, and fancied they gave me a 
look of respect. Here conversation with Wickliffe and Barry showed 
them that I was not a stranger. The former showed me much atten- 
tion, and when the court adjourned, invited me to his room. I remained 
in this suspense till after dinner, contriving expedients in case of a 
refusal. I thought one moment I would give a true statement of. my 
education, and beg another examination ; the next, that I would apply 
to the next circuit court, and, by my exertions, make their honors blush 
for their refusal. I could not, however, for a moment hesitate to admit 
the justice of their apparent suspicions. 

" After dinner I again called, and was told by the Chief Justice that 
they had concluded to give me a license, but I must procure the form. 
I attributed much in this decision to Mr. Barry ; but what was my sur- 
prise when, soon after, Barry passing by, asked if the judges were now 
in their room, saying that he would now call and see them ! Thus I 
learned that my license was procured without a word from any mortal 
who had been before acquainted with me ! Although I could not help 
severely blaming him for negligence in a matter in which I was so 
deeply interested, I was heartily glad he had not called, — there is 
something so pleasant in owing everything to ourselves. 

" I could not now help feeling that my fears had far underrated my 
appearance on examination, and I am still convinced that such was the 
fact. I was told I must procure a form of license, and having done this, 



TEACHING IN THE FAMILY OF HENRY CLAY. 131 

I called, but the- judges -were gone out. I waited nearly an hour, and 
then, as it was near four o'clock, left it with Major Barry, and set out 
for Lexington. 

" I know not whether I shall stay in Lexington, but every week makes 
it more likely. The advice of Mr. Richardson and my other friends, 
with the character of all the young lawyers here, afford me strong hopes 
of success. My friends have become more and more interested in my 
favor, and this, joined with my own inclination, will very likely decide 
me. 

" 17th. This day I received my license, — so, as J. Hart told me, 
I want nothing but clients to make me a lawyer. 

" 18th. This day attended a regimental muster. The militia here are 
but an ill-armed, undisciplined rabble. There were many without guns, 
and I do not recollect to have seen a cartouch-box or bayonet in the 
whole regiment. We formed, marched half a mile to a field, after one 
drum and fife, our only music, formed in echelon three times, inarched 
back again, and were dismissed. I was much fatigued, for we were a 
great while performing these manceuvers, as both officers and men had to 
learn them. 

"30th. In conversation with Mrs. Clay, an observation was made 
characteristic of herself, and as it regarded myself, not without founda- 
tion. The conversation was on bows, and I said I did not know what 
sort of a bow I was accustomed to make, for it was a long time since I 
had thought on the subject. She answered she knew, and imitated it, 
continuing, that I always looked as if I was ashamed when I came into 
a room. I blushed at the remark, and the more as I was conscious it 
was just. But I am glad it was made, for it will be a stimulus to make 
me attempt assuming a little more confidence and dignity. I feel that 
it is possible, and it shall be done. 

"November 1st. John Hart, with some of the ladies, walked out. 
He informed me that he was about to vest five or six thousand dollars 
in the grocery business, and wished to know if I could recommend any 
person who would come out and manage it for him. I recommended 
my friend Brazer, Jr., but observed, that, were I five years younger, I 
would engage in it myself. He said he wished he could make it an ob- 
ject for me, and observed he would gladly put all his property under my 
care. I thanked him, and little more was said, but I concluded to write 
to Brazer. However, this set me thinking, and attempting to contrive 
ways in which it should be mutually advantageous. 

" 2d. With several plans in my head I called on J. Hart, but before 
I had time to divulge them he made me a proposal. It was to vest in 
business five or six thousand dollars, of which I should take the care, 
and receive one third of the profits, or should that fall short of $ 500 



132 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

per annum, he would insure me that sum. He wished me to vest what 
money I could obtain, from time to time, in the business, and finally 
make the business my own ; but he was averse to every plan like part- 
nership. 

" To change the whole object of one's life I thought too serious a 
matter to decide hastily, and therefore resolved to take a day or two 
to consider it. The inducements to accept are the certainty of an im- 
mediate support, the prospect of riches, the doubtful nature and bad 
prospects of my profession, which are daily darkened by the clouds of 
war, and the swarms of New-Englanders flocking to this country. 

" On the other hand, my ignorance of the business, the long term 
spent in the study of law, my ambition, and the supposed opinion of 
my absent friends, throw me into a state of doubt and perplexity. I 
returned to the tavern, walked out to Mr. Wickliffe's with R, spent a 
social hour, and again returned to the tavern, where were four of us 
Yankee emigrant lawyers, and we made ourselves merry with brandy 
and our ill prospects. I proposed my case, and asked their opinion, and 
found them unanimous that I should accept Mr. Hart's offer. My own 
inclination is to the same opinion, although I am not perfectly pleased 
with the arrangement. Should I do it, Breck will probably take my 
place at Mr. Clay's. Would to God that Mr. Clay was at home ! for I 
should probably be decided by his opinion. 

" 3d. Thought made me restless. I dreamed that I had resolved 
to pursue the business of law, and was likely to be successful. When 
awake I returned to the same state of doubt, from which I was relieved 
in the afternoon by a call from Mr. Hart, who informed me the goods 
were not to be procured, and he had concluded to abandon or defer the 
business to a more favorable opportunity. Thus are all my mercantile 
hopes blasted, and I am again a lawyer. I am almost resolved to make 
a solemn promise that I will follow the profession through thick and 
thin, betide me weal, betide me woe. At the present time I need such 
a resolution. 

"5th. Breck dined with me and spent the afternoon. I am some- 
times almost resolved to quit my place, and go immediately into practice ; 
but I cannot but have hopes that by delaying I shall derive advantage 
from the friendship of Mr. Clay. 

" 6th. Two more law students arrived in town from Worcester 
County, Massachusetts. They come with strong hopes, and will there- 
fore be more disappointed. Yesterday I had a letter from Fowle, who 
says he must quit Boston, for business is at a dead stand. He has 
joined an infantry company, and done duty one week in the forts. 

" 18th. Wrote to Fowle. I now recollect an anecdote of last even- 
ing, which serves to illustrate what is the impression of the slaves here 



TEACHING IN THE FAMILY OF HENRY CLAY. 133 

concerning the British. It was after dark, when I was walking from 
town, when two negro boys passed me on the other side of the road, 
driving some cattle. There was a large fire of shavings in town. 
' There,' said one, ' that looks like the fire of a house.' ' Yes ; what 
if we should find the British in town when we get back 1 ' ' They would 
n't hurt us, would they ] ' ' No.' ' Then I would have this horse, 
would n't you have that ? ' Thus they spoke until they had passed out 
of hearing. 

" 14-th. Called on the Misses P. Mary H. was present. I confess I 
could not help blushing for my friend who was with me ; although, per- 
haps, I had more reason to blush for myself. Even with ladies, I can- 
not use any conversation which I myself think silly. Nor can I think 
that a gentlemen can ever in that way recommend himself to the 
esteem of those with whom he converses. I had rather be esteemed 
unsocial than silly. Keceived a letter from Hough, at Louisville. Like 
the rest of the Yankees he does not know where to put himself. 

"18th. I was this evening in company with a young gentleman, 
named Guilford, from Massachusetts, with whom I have been much 
pleased. The conversation now confirmed my good opinion. It turned 
on matrimony, when he said he should never marry. On my appearing 
surprised, he said he had always been the dupe of love. I then told 
him he was a foolish dupe if he had taken such a resolution. He 
blushed, and said we did not know his reasons. As we did not seem 
satisfied, he proceeded to say that he had a mother, and several brothers 
and sisters, who had been in affluent circumstances, but that his father 
had died insolvent, and left them to labor for a sustenance. That he 
believed it would give him more pleasure to relieve them, should it ever 
be in his power, than to marry. We could not help approving his prin- 
ciples and admiring his resolution. I resolved on the spot to solicit his 
correspondence, for his is the heart which I love. 

" 21st. By my Boston paper I find something like an account of 
the designs of the Federalists there, which has for the first time given 
me a desire to return. If I am eligible, and the people of my native 
town would choose me to the next legislature, I would fly back in a 
moment. 

" 22d. Wrote a long letter to Parson Heywood, intimating what were 
yesterday my thoughts, so that if my friends there have any such inclin- 
ation, and find the objections surmountable, they may know my senti- 
ments.. But I do not expect anything. 

"23(1. After school I walked into town, and took from the post- 
office a letter from Woodbury. He had not received my last, and by his 
expressions I am left to suppose that he had written me, but that 
the letter has miscarried. He gives me quite a sermon, which I 



134 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

am afraid, is wasted ; but I must do justice to his good intentions. He 
spent the evening at the Deacon's, and Mary sends me something, — 
he does not remember what. That girl is, after all, the best in the 
world ! And this evening, too, I have called on the amiable, the beau- 
tiful — — . Did I think she loved me, pei-haps I should think her the 
best in the world. What a labyrinth is the human heart ] 

" 27th. In the fluctuations of my mind with regard to settling, I 
have nearly come to the conclusion to quit Lexington, and go into some 
of the neighboring counties, where I can try my talents, and if I find 
them equal to the competition, return, and finally settle in Lexington. 
But the distracted situation in which the country is likely to be placed 
precludes the possibility of calculating upon any plan with certainty. 
Should revolution prevail in the North, it will not be very likely to stop 
until these Western States will be separated, not only from the Northern, 
but the Southern. If they cannot all remain united, this will doubtless 
be the interest of the West, which, under a strong but liberal govern- 
ment, may increase with an unparalleled rapidity. But God forbid the 
necessity of resorting to this dilemma. Better sacrifice one hundred 
thousand men and preserve the Union. 

"28th. Went to a party this morning at Mr. Thomas Pindell's. 
The evening passed pleasantly. Out of patience at sitting as a mere 
spectator, I undertook to dance, and blundering several times in the 
figures of cotillons, with which I was unacquainted, I sat down quite 
satisfied, and thought I should dance no more. But while they were 
dancing reels, I took a partner, but when I came upon the floor the 
party wished to turn it to a cotillon. As they were nearly unanimous 
against me, I yielded, and succeeded admirably. By another evening I 
shall be able to dance almost any of their figures. 

" 29th. Having returned home about one o'clock, I was very dull 
to-day, and especially in the evening. Yet was my imagination on the 
wing, and I began a piece of poetry on an incident which happened last 
evening. 

"December 2d. Called at Thomas Prentiss's with Rockwood and 
others, and getting into a game of cards, it was two o'clock before we 
departed. It was not my fault, but that of my companions, for I had 
never been there before. At any rate, I am resolved to avoid such a 
shameful hour in future. 

" From a Boston ' Patriot,' received to-day, I learn the death of the 
Rev. J. Heywood, of Dunstable, to whom I had lately written. It like- 
wise announces the unanimous resolve of the Vermont legislature that it 
is inexpedient to choose delegates to meet the New England convention. 

" 12th. To-day further news was received from our commissioners 
at Ghent, by which it appears there are still some hopes of peace. But 



A LAND SCHEME. 135 

such delays are interposed by the British that the business will not be 
concluded in time to allow the commissioners to return before spring. 
Thus I shall probably be disappointed in all the advantages which I had 
hoped from an acquaintance with Mr. Clay. 

" This evening my friend Rockwood came out, and I spent with him 
and the young ladies the most merry hours I have seen in Kentucky. 
I said many foolish things, and some for which I was sorry ; but this is 
the natural consequence of much talking. Messrs. Hart and Watkins 
went out to" hunt opossums, but returned without success. 

" 1815, January 1st. The New Year finds me at Winchester, Ky., 
ready to bid a long adieu to a friend. During the last year I have seen 
much, and felt much. It has indeed been an eventful year to me and 
the world. What the present may have in store, God only knows. It 
is ushered in by doubt, fear, and dismay. Heaven grant that its even- 
ing may be as propitious to me and my country as the beginning is 
gloomy and portentous ! 

"February 13th. Things have gone forward in a uniform train 
with me for some days, excepting that I received a letter from Shipley. 
But this day an incident occurred which bids fair to change the whole 
color of my life. Mr. Sawyer, Mr. Hunt, and Mr. Whiting, three New- 
Englanders, called on me and proposed a scheme which had been sug- 
gested to them, by which they think we may make our fortunes. The 
plan is to take up a considerable tract in the Indiana Territory, and form 
on it a settlement exclusively of New-Englanders. It is contemplated to 
petition Congress for some indulgences in the payment for public lands, 
and if they should be granted, to commence on a grand scale. But 
should the application be unsuccessful, there are several moneyed men 
who will assist us to take up perhaps 50,000 acres on the usual terms. 
The young men of the company, from five to ten in number, are to do 
all the business, settle on the land themselves, and procure emigrants. 
It is contemplated to take up some central place, with such conveniences 
and communications as to render it the seat of government for the fu- 
ture State of Indiana. The plan struck me as a feasible one, and I 
said I would think of it. I accordingly thought of it, and resolved to 
join the company, although I perceive some obstacles which may defeat 
the scheme. In the first place, Congress will not grant the petition. 
In the next, the place must be near the frontiers, and liable to be 
harassed by the Indians. But, on the whole, I can lose nothing by it, ex- 
cept time, and wear and tear of body and clothing. On the other 
hand, should the plan be successful I shall, in ten years, make a for- 
tune. 

" 14th. This day was spent in preparing a petition to Congress, and 
writing letters. We petition for leave to take up 150,000 acres of land 



136 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

in the Indiana or Mississippi Territory, and pray that each payment may 
be delayed five years from its usual time, and engage in six years to 
have on the ground fifteen inhabitants for every thousand acres, provid- 
ed the three last years be clear from Indian hostilities. But it will 
arrive at so late a day of the session, that it is doubtful whether Con- 
gress receives it. It was signed by Benjamin Sawyer, G. W. Hunt, 
Amos Kendall, Amos Whiting, for themselves and associates, — for we 
intend to associate a considerable number more. In the mean time, it is 
intended that several of us shall set out immediately to investigate the 
country. But we were all, but one, engaged in business which we could 
not leave. I offered to go if some person could be found to take my 
place. It was mentioned that there was a young man at Cincinnati ; and 
Mr. Whiting, who was acquainted with him, wrote to him on the spot. 
If he can come, in little more than a week I shall be on my way to 
Indiana. I fear I shall suffer from fatigue, but I will make the at- 
tempt. It was past twelve o'clock when our papers were completed, 
and I took lodging again in town. 

"15th. Mentioned my probable journey to Mrs. Clay. She will 
accept my substitute, and even tells me to go if he does not come, if I 
find it for my advantage. But I am not resolved on that. 

" 18th. Wishing to engage Mr. Thorn as one of the active men in 
our speculation, we sent Mr. Whiting for him, who made him come 
with him on his return. We called on Mr. J. Prentiss in the evening, 
in order to determine on the principles and means of executing our 
pi'ojected scheme. We were a long time provoked with the whiffling, 
prevaricating temper of the man, and at length surmised that his in- 
tention was to use us more as servants than partners. It was a lon<* 
while before he could be brought to anything definite, and he finally 
thought we ought to be satisfied with one twentieth of the profits. 
To this he endeavored to reconcile us by extravagant calculations of 
gain, which had no effect but to show his own duplicity. Unluckily for 
him, he had told us that since he had been in this country it has been 
his practice to make use of men according to his own views, without re- 
gard to their character or principles. Were no petition sent, we should 
probably have abandoned the business on the spot, but we remembered 
his own confession, and determined to await the event of that. Should 
it be granted, we shall have the staff in our own hands, and our terms 
must be accepted, or we shall apply elsewhere. Our terms are, that the 
inactive partners shall advance $10,000 each, which, with interest, shall 
be refunded from the first profits, and the remainder shall be equally 
divided among the whole, after deducting all the expenses. On the 
whole, it was agreed that Mr. Thorn, Mr. Whiting, and myself should 
set out as soon as practicable to explore the country, and that our ex- 



NEWS OF PEACE. 



137 



penses should be borne by the rest of the associates, provided the 
scheme shall not succeed. 

" But unless the young gentleman from Cincinnati should consent to 
take my place I shall not go. Indeed, I grow very indifferent about it ; 
for I believe the scheme can never be effected with Mr. P. for a leader. 
I could not help feeling a sovereign contempt, and never had a stronger 
inclination to quiz a man in my life. 

" 22d. This being Washington's birthday, was set apart by the trus- 
tees of the town for thanksgiving for the boon of such a hero, and more 
particularly for the late success of our arms under General Jackson. 

" Services were held at the Methodist, Episcopalian, and Presbyterian 
churches. About 4 p. m. was a discourse at the court-house by Mr. 
Shannon, which was attended by a crowd of both sexes. In the even- 
ing there was a general illumination, but the heavens were lighted 
up with such a plump and brilliant moon, that the little candles' 
beams were lost in her mellow flood of light. The people did not enter 
. into the business with the spirit which the importance of the occasion 
would seem to demand. It is so long since they received the news, that 
the enthusiasm has had time to cool, and it seemed more like constrained 
approbation than animated joy. 

" 23d. This day the news of the signing of preliminaries of peace 
between this country and Great Britain, arrived at Lexington. To many 
it was a messenger of joy, but others shook their heads. They say it 
would be dishonorable to make a peace on the terms offered by our own 
government. For myself, I was elevated with a sober, heartfelt joy, 
which I cannot describe. In the continuance of the war I see no ad- 
vantage to be gained, except a possibility of glory,- — a glory stained with 
the blood of our citizens, and half obscured by the flames of our towns 
and villages. 

" There was no illumination at Lexington, nor do I believe there will 
be in case of a full confirmation. What ! Shall a people light their 
windows at the prospect of blood, and not put each pane in a blaze at 
the news of that which saves their country ] But they fear it is dis- 
honorable. 

" 24th. Called at Mr. J. Prentiss's to see him with regard to my in- 
tended expedition to Indiana. He had company, and asked me to walk 
in and spend the evening. 

" After the company retired, I asked Mr. Prentiss to furnish me with 
a horse, money, and instructions, for the intended expedition, — all of 
which he promised. 

" 26th. Mr. Hunt having forgotten to send the billet which I wrote 
to Mr. Hough, I took a horse and rode out. I wished him to promise 
decisively that he would come if K. should fail, but that he would 



138 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

not do. He feels under no obligations to remain where he is, and some 
circumstances make his situation rather unpleasant; but he, notwith- 
standing, feels a delicacy at leaving and going again into the same 
business. On telling the result to Mrs. Clay, she strongly intimated an 
unwillingness to have me go, and, alluding to Mr. Hough, said she 
should be very angry if any person were to induce a teacher to leave 
her house, or were so ungenerous as to attempt it. I felt injured, but 
repressed my feelings, for it never entered my heart that I was acting an 
ungenerous part by accepting the services of Mr. Hough, in compliance 
with his own inclination first expressed to me. I was, however, afraid 
to say I would remain here if it was her desire, for I had resolved to go. 
I went to town in expectation of meeting Mr. Thorn, but was dis- 
appointed. Our departure must of course be delayed till Tuesday. 

" This day an express brought an account of the ratification of the 
treaty of peace with Great Britain, which took place on the 15th inst. 
The transaction has been so sudden, prompt, and unexpected, that peo- 
ple can hardly realize the transition. English papers find great fault 
with the treaty, which predisposes the people of this country to be satis- 
fied. It seems that something has transpired at the Congress at Vienna 
which has given a spur to the British government. On this occasion I 
cannot help feeling grateful to God, and congratulating my country. 
My reflections on the prospect before us were, a few days ago, extremely 
gloomy. Civil war and the destruction of our government were by no 
means improbable events. Credit was gone, our army was weak, the 
States were assuming their own defence, and instead of a hydra who 
should turn its heads on an external enemy, we were likely to become 
a nest of serpents, equally fatal to ourselves and others. But now the 
prospect changes. Our government will rise more strong from the con- 
test, opportunity will be afforded for necessary improvements of the Fed- 
eral system, and, under the fostering influences of freedom and a liberal 
policy, the North and the South, the East and the West, will rejoice to- 
gether. Perhaps I am too sanguine ; but it appears to me the war has 
cured us of those fatal mistakes which have hitherto rendered our gov- 
ernment so weak. Our navy has burst into favor in a blaze of glory, 
commerce is felt to be necessary for a revenue, all parts of the Union 
have learned that they are mutually dependent, and will draw closer the 
bond which unites them. 

" 27th. My expedition to Indiana is deferred. We have received in- 
formation that many murders have lately been committed in that 
territory by the Indians, and it will not be safe to proceed. Peace has 
likewise somewhat changed our prospects, and, unless Congress grant us 
some facilities, it is doubtful whether our plan can succeed. 

" 28th. I went in town this morning, and it was agreed to wait the 



A MURDER TRIAL. 13 9 

event of our petition before -we proceed. Should there be a prospect of 
obtaining it by the next Congress, we shall wait ; but should no such 
hopes be entertained, the event will depend on the moneyed men who can 
be induced to engage. 

" Lexington men will not illuminate for the peace ! I believe the 
majority sincerely rejoice, but a few discontented men throw a damp on 
every ardent feeling. They say the peace is dishonorable. It must 
arise from ignorance in the assertors, or this is to be made a hobby on 
which other men are to ride into office. He who understands the situa- 
tion of the country, and would prefer the continuance of war to such a 
peace, must be a madman. 

" March 1st. A recommendation was this morning issued in a hand- 
bill for an illumination this evening. In the afternoon appeared a coun- 
ter handbill, and some violent young men threatened to break every 
window which should be lighted. However, about a third part of the 
houses were' illuminated, some of them brilliantly, and no outrage was 
committed. Many were glad of peace, but would not illuminate be- 
cause nothing has been gained by the war. 

" 5th. According to previous agreement, or rather on an invitation 
from Mr. Farnham, who lives in the family, I rode with Mr. Hunt to the 
house of Mr. Alexander, thirteen miles from Lexington, towards Frank- 
fort. That family had been represented to me as one of the most 
pleasant in the country, and I was not disappointed. 

"6th. Rode with Mr. F., Mr. H., and two Mr. Alexanders to see 
some young ladies named Lee, but finding they were gone to church we 
followed. Here we were put out of patience by wretched music and a 
tedious sermon, left the house, and before service was over started for 
Mr. Alexander's. After dinner we bade adieu to this hospitable family 
and returned to Lexington. 

" 12th. A storm prevented Mr. Hunt and myself from going to visit 
Mr. Hough yesterday, as we had previously agreed. This day I wrote 
to my friend Fliigel, and gave him a short piece of poetry in congratu- 
lation of his late marriage. I likewise desired him to write me imme- 
diately and inform me what prospect that neighborhood offers for a 
lawyer. 

" 13th. Attended court this day in order to observe the manner of 
doing business here, but was greatly fatigued, with very little profit. 
Their manner of conducting business is extremely dilatory. When they 
are ready to try a cause, a jury must be picked up in the highways and 
hedges ; for there is nobody summoned beforehand, as in Massachusetts, 
because that would make expense. Of course much time is lost, and 
the juries often consist of men as little fitted for jurors as they are for 
governors. This causes a delay of nearly an hour. WelL this k not 



140 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

all. The witnesses are now to be called and hunted out, which takes 
up almost an hour more. Thus by delays and foolish speeches the day 
is frittered away and very little is done. At least that was the case 
to-day, for but one case was tried. 

"15th. This day was assigned for the trial of Mr. Payne for the 
murder of his wife ; but on the request of his counsel, Mr. Pope, time 
was given till to-morrow for him to make preparation for contesting the 
point whether he ought to be tried or not in his present state of health. 
I had gone to court to hear the trial, but on this delay to consider the 
question of postponement I returned home in disgust. 

"16th. Monday the 27th iust. is assigned for the trial of Payne. 
On our petition to Congress nothing has been done, and we presume it 
has not been presented. 

"21st. Went into court, and on motion of Mr. Wickliffe took the 
oath required by law to practise as an attorney. According to the best 
of my recollection, it amounted to an oath that I would observe and 
support the Constitution of the State, demean myself honestly in my 
practice, and that I had not given, accepted, or been the bearer of a 
challenge for a duel since April, 1812, and that I would not give, accept, 
or bear one hereafter, in this State or elsewhere. 

" 27th. This day being assigned for the trial of young Payne for the 
murder of his wife, I went to the court-house after school, and saw the 
prisoner arraigned. On being asked whether he was guilty, he answered, 
" I am not guilty, but I wish I was, and I would tell you so." The 
whole conduct of the man was made up of impudence and indifference. 
Nearly sixty were called before a jury was obtained, and then the evi- 
dence was as conclusive to his guilt as circumstances could make it. 
The court adjourned a little after dark. 

" 28th. This day was spent in the examination of testimony. 

" 29th. The testimony was closed, and the arguments were opened 
by Mr. Breckenridge, appointed by the court to assist Mr. Shannon, on 
the part of the commonwealth. The beginning of his argument was 
good and eloquent, but it became more feeble as he proceeded, and was 
continued to the unreasonable length of four hours. Mr. Pope, in be- 
half of the prisoner, then commenced in a very eloquent strain, ad- 
dressed to the feelings of the jury. He summed up the evidence very 
handsomely, but was led from his subject by many irrelevant ideas 
which seemed to strike him on the occasion, and at length made his 
discourse tedious. I left the court just at night, but was told he con- 
tinued his argument till nearly ten, and, though he had spoken six hours, 
did not finish ! He seems to have no doubt of the fact, but hopes to 
save him on the plea of insanity ; but he is no madman, and if he should 
be saved justice will mourn. , 



SOCIAL LIFE IN LEXINGTON. 141 

" 30th. Through darkness, mud, and torrents of rain I rode into 
town, and attended a ball at Postlethwait's. I did not dance, but spent 
the evening very pleasantly in conversation with the ladies and gentlemen. 

" April 1st. This afternoon I attended court, and heard sentence 
pronounced on Payne. A motion was made for a new trial, but over- 
ruled by the court. I sat at some distance, but had a fair view of 
his face, and could not discover the least change. The second Tuesday 
in April is appointed for his execution. 

" 5th. made a proposal to me last evening, at which I was 

somewhat surprised. He expects to deliver a 4th of July oration, 
and he wishes me to write it, because, he says, I can write much better 
than he. I sincerely doubt the fact ; but though I am sure I would 
never depend for my reputation on the talents or exertions of another, 
I consented to write, with this proviso, — that I should deliver it myself 
if opportunity offers. 

" I attended the ball this evening again, but not without qualms. 
From the arrangement of the parties, or from some other cause, they 
would not let me pay last week. They are, I believe, subscription balls, 
and those only pay who have subscribed for the whole number, which 
was eight, if I rightly remember ; but not having any wish to amuse 
myself at the expense of others, I should not have gone at all had not 
Mrs. Clay and her daughters been there. 

"6th. We had a considerable party of ladies and gentlemen, and 
nothing would satisfy them but the reading of my poem. It is the last 
time I will read it when any of the same persons shall be present. 

" 9th. It being Sunday, and Mrs. Clay being absent, I spent the day 
at home in writing an argument from my recollection of the evidence 
in the case of Commonwealth vs. Payne. It was against the prisoner, 
and I found the subject a prolific one. I spent the day in writing and 
did not finish. 

"10th. Concluded my argument, and I found I had written about 
sixteen quarto pages of common writing-paper. To-day I proposed 
to Mrs. Clay to hear the boys recite separately, on account of the 
striking superiority of Thomas, the younger. The difference was con- 
spicuous this afternoon, for Thomas recited sixty lines, and Theodore 
only twenty. 

" 15th. Mr. J. Hart and Mr. Smith came out this morning, and spent 
most of the afternoon. On speaking of the Tammany Society iu Lex- 
ington, I observed I believed I would join it, and write a poem or some- 
thing for their celebration, on the 4th of July, when Hart said I had 
better, and bid me write a petition to the Grand Sachem. This was a 
formality I was unacquainted with, but nevertheless wrote it, and de- 
spatched it by him. 



142 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

"My principal object is to make myself known, and get an oppor- 
tunity of displaying such talents as I may possess. 

" 18th. Went this afternoon to Mr. Alexander's, in Woodford, to a 
party. To me the fore part of the day was full of little vexations : I 
suspected Mrs. Clay did not wish me to go ; the gardener went away 
with my horse and did not return until, being out of patience, I walked 
into town and hired a horse from a stable. Here I met with more 
vexations : I found myself on a miserable, hard-trotting animal, and 
withal had on a new pair of shoes, so tight that they actually blistered 
my feet. However, the party was small, and the evening passed pleas- 
antly in dancing, wherein I also took part. It was just two o'clock when 
the ladies retired. 

"19th. Rose a little after sunrise. After breakfast the party recom- 
menced dancing, but Mr. Hunt and myself took ' French leave ' and re- 
turned to Lexington. I was pinched and shaken almost to a mummy. 
However, as I had petitioned the Tammany Society for admission as a 
member, and hoped to be admitted this evening, I walked into town. 
Finding Mrs. A. Hart and the Misses P.'s at Mrs. T. Hart's, I had a pleas- 
ant walk and very agreeable conversation with them, and was afterwards 
ushered into the Society. The principles of the Society are liberal, and 
its object noble. 

"25th. This day arrived Mr. Kilpatrick from Cincinnati. I am 
very much pleased with his appearance, and shall next week resign. My 
first steps will be to visit a number of the counties, and learn, if possi- 
ble, which promises most. 

" 29th. Resigned my sceptre to Mr. Kilpatrick. Though the behav- 
ior of Mr. Clay's children out of school has not been very agreeable, 
yet their attention to study and their good hearts, and uniformly re- 
spectful conduct towards me, have attached me considerably to them, and 
I cannot leave them without regret. Yet, I cannot but feel a glow of 
joy that my pedagogical labors are closed, and ardently hope I shall 
never be under the necessity of resuming them. 

" In the afternoon I went to town, and there met Mr. Farnham, who 
invited me to ride to Richmond with him. On a moment's thought I 
resolved to go, if possible, and return to Nicholasville. I accordingly 
procured a letter to Mr. Woodson, clerk of the court in the latter place, 
from Major Barry, and invited Mr. Farnham home with me to spend 
the night. 

" 30th. Set out after breakfast, and had a pleasant, though moderate 
ride, to Jack's Creek Ferry, on the Kentucky. The contrast is so strik- 
ing between the uniformly uneven ground near Lexington, and the stu- 
pendous cliffs and hills on the river, that I was filled with delight. The 
soft tints of spring added much to their beauty. After taking dinner, 



LOOKS ABOUT FOR A PLACE OF SETTLEMENT. 143 

and being entertained by our host with many anecdotes not at all to 
the credit of his neighbor, General Green Clay, we crossed the river. 
We had not proceeded a mile before a cloud arose, thunder rolled, and 
threatened instant rain. We accordingly took shelter in the first house 
that offered, which was Clay's, arid, for myself, I was glad of the 
shower, as I hoped it would afford me an opportunity of seeing his 
daughter. Unfortunately she was not at home. The father treated us 
with great complaisance, gave us peach-brandy, invited us to dinner, 
and pressed us to remain through the night. All, excepting the first, 
we declined. This old man is said to be worth a million ; but there is 
no happiness in his look, which beams a cold hospitality. We had not 
proceeded far when it again began raining, and we called at a tavern. 
Again it ceased, and we started, and had proceeded a few rods when my 
companion's horse slipped down and threw him into the mud, but with 
no other injury than daubing his clothes. But it soon began to rain 
once more, and, resolving not to stop, we arrived in Richmond, well 
drenched, about dark. We found our friends, Wheelwright and Breck, 
in good business, and contented. 

May 1st. It was county court day, and a very great multitude of 
people were collected, apparently "with no other motive but curiosity. 
They were, generally, decently dressed, and had agreeable, intelligent 
countenances. Having said all we had to say, and seen all we could see, 
we set out directly after dinner for Nicholasville. Before we arrived at 
the Kentucky our road was bad, being for miles nothing else than the 
bed of a creek. The scenery about its mouth compensated for every 
difficulty, for it was remarkably grand and beautiful. After passing the 
river, we once missed our road for a few rods, and, meeting with a wo- 
man, we inquired the way to Nicholasville. ' Why,' said she, ' I never 
was there.' This was within three miles. But the woman, who had a 
charming air of benevolence and simplicity in her countenance, said she 
had come from Virginia a year ago. However, she knew enough to put 
us right, and we arrived at Nicholasville after dark. We found this a 
small village, though larger than I expected. 

"3d. Presented my letter to Mr. Woodson, and procured such in- 
formation as led me to believe that Nicholasville is not a place for me 
to settle. About nine o'clock I set out for Lexington. Here my com- 
panion, Mr. Farnham, left me for Woodford. He seems a young gen- 
tleman of merit, and I am much more pleased with him than on first 
acquaintance. He gives me a description of the family he is in, which 
makes it almost angelic, and much increases my esteem of his fair pupil 
Mary Ann. Again I had proceeded not more than two miles when it 
began to rain. Having been somewhat wetted before I arrived at a 
tavern, I concluded not to stop. But I repented my determination, not 



144 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

in sackcloth and ashes, but in gusts of wind and torrents of rain. At 
length I was obliged to stop, for even my horse could scarcely face the 
storm. But it soon abated, and taking a hearty draught of whiskey; I 
proceeded, dripping, through mud and water to Lexington. I arrived at 
Mr. Clay's about twelve. I have "returned with a resolution, unless 
something more promising shall offer, to try my fortune in Lexing- 
ton. 

" J/ih. Visited Georgetown, in Scott County. I took a letter to Mr. 
Herndon, a trader, who was very polite, said he would do anything for 
me he could, and offered to board me until I could suit myself better, if 
I would come to that place. The representations which I derived from 
him and others led me to believe that county the most favorable in the 
neighborhood. There are five lawyers living in the county, but only 
one lives in town, and he talks of removing. I went thence to Mr. 
Alexander's. Mr. Farnham expected soon to go to Natchez, but I 
brought him a letter, which determined him not to go. He was glad of 
the disappointment, and is almost resolved to settle in Versailles. I 
spent the evening very agreeably in this charming family, — a considera- 
ble part of it in playing at checkers, or draughts, with Miss Alexander. 

" 5th. Mr. Farnham showed me a piece of poetry written by Miss 
Alexander, which does honor to her talents, her heart, and her educa- 
tion. Mr. Farnham set out with me this morning for Versailles. We 
called at Mr. N. Hart's to see Mr. Ruggles. There I was introduced to 
several young ladies, and among the rest to one named Preston, twelve 
years old, whom from her size and appearance I judged to be eighteen. 
I saw here a number of little negroes almost naked, — a disgusting spec- 
tacle, which at once prepossessed me against their master. Porter Clay, 
on whom I depended for an introduction to the clerk of the court, was 
not at home. We saw several of his children at the door of a miserable 
cabin, which at present forms his house. We therefore rode out to Mr. 
Watkins's, two miles and a half from town. Here we took dinner, and 
Nathaniel W. had the politeness to accompany us to town, and intro- 
duce us to persons in the clerk's office, from whom we derived the 
necessary information. This place does not, I think, offer advantages 
equal to Georgetown. Besides, as F. has nearly formed a resolution to 
settle here, I would not willingly interfere with his plans. After a short 
conversation, bade adieu to my friend and rode to Lexington. 

" 6th. As I considered myself deficient in the legal forms necessary 
for practice, I this day put myself on inquiries to obtain them. But I 
find the practice here is almost without form. Every writing, if under- 
stood, is equivalent to a bond duly executed. 

" 8th. Purchased what books were absolutely necessary for practice, 
and made other preparations. 



SETTLED AT GEORGETOWN. 145 

" 9th. Was not able to go to Georgetown to-day for want of a horse, 
but shall go to-morrow. 

" 10th. It was almost eleven o'clock when I started. Called at sev- 
eral places in town, and, among the rest, at Mrs. Hart's. I arrived in 
Georgetown about two o'clock ; despatched a boy, who came with me, back 
with the horses, and took up my abode in the family of Mr. Herndon. 
His house is small and crowded, so that I repented having accepted his 
offer, but knew no remedy. 

" 11th. Made some inquiries for a room, but was unable to procure 
one. Went fishing in Elkhorn Creek, but found it miserable sport. 
The fish of this country are small and mean. 

" 12th. Made further inquiries for a room, and found a fine one, 
which I shall probably be able to obtain next week. I shall be glad 
when the time arrives, for accommodations in this family are extremely 
bad. Was to-day introduced to Mr. Henry, the only lawyer here ; who 
seems to be a very pleasant man, and gives me much encouragement. 
I have likewise been introduced to a few others, but Mr. Herndon, 
though a clever man, is not one who will take much pains to introduce 
me, a stranger. He is not a man of the world, or as some would say, 
not extremely polite. 

" 13th. Began reading the Statutes of Kentucky, particularly such as 
regard the county courts and their jurisdiction. This evening a party 
played cards till nearly midnight. I had previously told Mr. H. and 
others that it was my principle never to bet. Of course I am not 
troubled on that score. Mr. H. and Mr. Craig bet only ninepence on 
the game. 

" 14th. Attended preaching in the court-house, forenoon and after- 
noon. The preachers were Baptists. But after the exercises closed in 
the afternoon, a man without education, but with excellent natural 
talents, gave us a long discourse in explanation of a new principle, which 
he pretends to derive from Scripture. The principal tenet is, that the 
wicked shall be destroyed, soul and body, after the judgment, but the 
spirit, which he says is not the soul, will survive and be reunited to 
God. The details were long and not wholly intelligible, but generally 
he explained himself very lucidly. 

" 16th. Engaged board at Mr. Theobald's tavern, and, as I can there 
have a room in which but one other man sleeps, I shall not rent an 
office at all. In the evening had my things moved, and took up my 
abode in this house. 

" Mr. Herndon would take nothing for the time I have spent in his 
family. Mrs. Herndon had the numbers of the ' Western Gleaner ' 
which contain the pieces of poetry written by me ; I pointed them out 
to her, and she thought some of them pretty. 
10 



146 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

" I should not mention these trifles, were it not my intention to relate 
everything, now that I have started in the world, which may give a 
color to my reputation. In conformity to this resolution, I mention the 
following trifle which took place, I believe, this day. Mr. Craig put to 
me this mathematical question : ' Two men were travelling and stopped 
to take dinner ; one produced five loaves, the other three. A third man 
came up and took dinner with them, for which he paid eight pieces of 
money ; how should those eight pieces be divided % ' After a little thought 
I answered, ' Seven and one.' He said he never heard anybody answer it 
aright before ; that it had been proposed to the whole bar here in time 
of court, not one of whom could answer it. Trifling as this is, it will 
leave an impression, and of such impressions on the minds of others are 
our reputations made up. 

" 17th. Set about reading statute law, and as I find the judiciary 
system of Kentucky very complicated as it stands in the statute-books, 
on account of numerous alterations, I determined to write it out. I 
accordingly began with justices of the peace. 

" 18th. Continued my labors, but find the business more difficult, 
and likely to take more time than I expected. 

" 19th. This day being cold and wet, I could not sit in my room, 
and consequently did nothing. Towards night my spirits fell into such 
a state of depression, and I felt so strongly the want of a friend, that I 
resolved to set off as soon as convenient and visit my friend Fhigel. I 
thought I should be much more happy, and perhaps succeed much bet- 
ter in my profession if I could live with him. I made some attempts 
to obtain a horse ; but one I would not take because the owner would 
charge nothing, and another because he charged too much. 

" 20th. After a night's consideration, I resolved not to go until after 
July court, when I could better judge whether I should succeed in this 
place. Accordingly I again sat down to my books. I feel that I must 
resist this desponding inclination, as well as this desire for change, or I 
shall not only be always poor, but also unhappy. 

"On an invitation from Mr. Thomas Theobald, -who seems very 
friendly to me, I rode a short distance. This neighborhood is much 
more pleasant than that of Lexington, on account of the variety of 
water prospects. 

" 23d. On the invitation of Mr. G. Miller, rode out ten miles to a 
battalion muster. I was in much better spirits than yesterday, and 
made considerable talk with the people. I was made acquainted with 
several gentlemen, and the time passed merrily away. When we set out 
for home, the company consisted of from fifteen to thirty, half of whom 
were a little tipsy. We came on in high spirits, and stopped at almost 
every tavern ; but I had kept myself perfectly sober, and came home as 



A NEWSPAPER SCHEME. 



147 



cool and almost as lively as -when I started. All the candidates made 
speeches, and old Captain Hunter, the man who was so good to 
me when I was on my way to Lexington, appeared among the num- 
ber. 

" 2Jiih. Spent the day in writing a piece of composition ' for a club, 
to which I have a promise of being introduced on Saturday next. It 
contains many of the most respectable men of the county, and its only 
object is composition. 

" 25th. It came into my head again to go and see my friend Fltigel 
after the next county court. I am hardly satisfied to settle myself down 
here in a place made to my hand, but not made such as I would wish it. 
My ambition leads me to some new country, where I can have a part in 
forming new societies and institutions. Many are the visions of my fancy, 
but alas ! the realities would probably be but a series of disappointments. 
I made some inquiries for a horse, and found I could hire one at almost 
any time at seventy-five cents per day. 

" June 3d. Went out to the Great Crossings, was introduced to the 
club, and read a piece of composition prepared for the purpose. Many 
pieces were read, which were purely political, and of the most violent 
kind. I was not much delighted, but console myself with the idea that 
I am able to out-write, if not out-speak, all of them. 

" 8th. This forenoon Mr. Henderson sent for me, and when I came 
to his store I found Colonel R. M. Johnson and Mr. Chambers present. 
They proposed to me to buy the printing establishment here, and under- 
take the editorial part of the ' Minerva.' They said they doubted not 
I would find it profitable, and if I would purchase, I should have it 
on such terms that, on a reasonable calculation, I might pay for it from 
the proceeds. The proposal was new to me, and I resolved to take time 
for thought and inquiry. In the evening I mentioned it to my friend, 
Mr. Rankins, who seemed to recommend the purchase. Afterwards I 
mentioned it to my friend, Mr. T. Theobald, who bid me at once to wash 
my hands of it. He said it had ruined two men, and one of two things 
was certain, I must either become the tool of the Johnsons, or suffer 
for my independence. He had no doubt it was a trick of the Johnson 
family to lay me under some obligations, that I might be hereafter 
bound to support them. At any rate he advised me to inquire, and 
think well before I engaged. I thanked him for his freedom, and was 
much inclined to be of his opinion. I shall, however, inform myself 
perfectly on the subject, and shall, at least, avoid any obligation. Could 
I do it with independence, I should be pleased with editing the paper 
for a while, but not with owning the property. The reputation of the 
paper is now very low, for its management is contemptible. 

"9th. From representations made to me, and an aversion to own 



148 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OS AMOS KENDALL. 

any property of the kind, I have almost determined not to purchase the 
printing establishment, but will perhaps edit the paper for a fixed price. 
I had a long talk with Mr. H. to-day, wherein I suggested the idea, 
which seemed not disagreeable. But neither of us made any fixed pro- 
posal. There were races in this vicinity to-day, which I attended. But 
disputes arose, which deferred them for so long a time that, before the 
principal race, I had retired sick and disgusted. The field is a scene 
of iniquity. Gamesters and prostitutes walk in open day, nor seem to 
excite one emotion of public indignation. 

" 10th. I had retired to bed before dark last night, but here new 
afflictions awaited me. A party of gamblers kept the house in an up- 
roar all night, and prevented my getting but a few short naps. I felt 
some indignation, but to no useful purpose. There were races again 
to-day, and I walked down, but did not enter the field. The race was 
a fine one, except that one of the horses flew the track, jumped a fence, 
and threw his rider. This evening there was a play in the court-house 
by a strolling company of players. With the play I was rather dis- 
gusted than pleased. 

" 11th. Rode to Lexington. Attended the Episcopalian Church, 
dined at Mr. Clay's, attended church in the afternoon, and commenced 
boarding at Mr. Allen's. 

" 12th. Attended court to-day, but very little was done. 

" July 15th. This day I returned to Georgetown, after a violent sick- 
ness, which has to this time detained me in Lexington. I have no 
recollection of many things that passed during the first two weeks, but 
so far as I do recollect I will proceed to minute them. 

" June 13th. I ate a little breakfast, but soon found myself getting 
sick, and sent for Dr. Pindell. 

" For several days continued to take medicine, suffered excruciating 
pain a considerable part of the time, and finally was relieved by a blister. 
I received very little attention from Mr. Allen's family, was in a very hot 
room, and, on the whole, very uncomfortably situated. Mrs. Clay had 
invited me to come out to her house, and this day sent in her carriage 
for me. I was as glad as if I had escaped from prison. There is 
nothing more painful to a sick man than to see those around him look 
on with indifference. To Messrs. Dana and Hunt I am under great 
obligations. Had they not been boarding in the house, I believe I should 
have suffered for want of attendance. 

" July 1st. I gained strength very slowly, and this day was able to sit 
up very little. Soon after I came here I sent in town, by the carriage- 
driver, for some wine, but Mrs. Clay finding it out from him, forbade 
him to buy it, and ordered him to return the money to me, saying that 
she had wine enough in the house to which I was quite welcome. A 



A LONG ILLNESS. 



149 



few days after this, a circumstance happened, which mortified me very 
much. I had no appetite, and ate very little. Beef was the only kind 
of meat that I pretended to eat. Though I had requested that it might 
be left very rare, it invariably came to me too much cooked. I wished 
the Doctor to speak to them about it, and mentioned it to Mr. Dana, 
in the presence of a servant, who reported it to his mistress. Contrary 
to my knowledge or even suspicion, she had attended to the cooking of 
the beef herself. She was angry. She came into the chamber with a 
very angry look, and said she was sorry she could not please me, and 
seemed to think me very ungrateful. I was extremely agitated, but 
said that nothing was further from my heart than ingratitude, acknowl- 
edged my obligations to her, told her I might have spoken imprudently, 
but meant no ill, and asked her if she had ever seen anything like 
ingratitude in my character. She said ' No,' and was appeased in a 
moment. I said I would be more prudent in future, and hoped she 
would forget what was passed. She answered, ' It is all over now ; I 
shall remember nothing,' and turned the conversation upon my medicine. 
What made her most angry was the servant's report that I said to Dana 
they did not know how to cook a beefsteak. It is possible I might have 
said so ; but according to the best of my remembrance, I simply said 
my beef was cooked too much, and he made answer that they did not 
know how to cook a beefsteak in Kentucky, for he has not met with one 
at the boarding-house fit to be eaten. After this, no more beef came 
for two or three days, when a piece came with other meat, cooked as I 
wished. I ate it all without tasting the other meat, and after that 'had 
beef very well cooked. It is very likely, however, that my squeamish- 
ness before arose principally from want of appetite. There were cele- 
brations of the 4th of July in Lexington, but I was unable to sit up 
more than a few minutes at a time. Mrs. Clay has her carriage brought 
out for me to ride every fine day. 

" 15th. I have thought myself able for two or three days to ride to 
Georgetown, but was prevented by rain, which has fallen every day, 
more or less, for about ten days past. As this day was fair, I deter- 
mined to improve it. In bidding adieu to Mrs. Clay, a sense of the 
obligation under which I have been laid by her so affected me, that I 
could not make those acknowledgments which I intended. She has 
done everything for me in her power, and I reflect on it with gratitude. 
Yet, I could not help remembering the difference between her best 
endeavors and those of my « mother, — that good, affectionate woman 
and excellent nurse. 

" I was received with great cordiality at Georgetown, where it was not 
known for three weeks that I was sick! There has been considerable 
merriment here since I have been gone, but that I do not regret. I 



150 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

regret the term of the circuit court, which I have entirely missed. But 
we must submit with resignation to the will of Providence. 

" When at Lexington, Mr. Woosely offered me my board and a room 
for an office, if I would select and write for the ' Reporter ' when he 
could not attend to it. But I know very well if I were to undertake on 
these conditions, the whole management of the paper would fall on me. 
For this the compensation is not adequate. If he had added $ 100, 
I think I would have accepted it. But, as it is, I think I could do 
better with the paper at Georgetown. 

" 16th. I am still stronger to-day, and walked out in the evening to 
Mr. Ward's, more than a mile. Dr. Henry was my companion. 

" 18th My strength continues daily to mend, and I have a voracious 
appetite. I have been again bantering concerning the editing of this 
paper. This day Mr. Miller, the postmaster, wished me to become his 
deputy, and offered half the profits, which would amount to $ 200 per 
year. I had calculated that they would give me $400 for edit- 
ing the paper, and by undertaking both these I thought I should ob- 
tain a handsome income. I applied to Mr. Henderson and made my 
offer, but having sold one half of the office to Mr. Reid during my ab- 
sence, he was obliged to consult him. Reid was unwilling to hire me. 
Here, then, the business ends. Yet many here are anxious to have me 
undertake the paper, and Mr. Henderson wishes much to have me buy 
the other half of the office. On consideration, I resolved to have 
nothing to do with the post-office. So I am again left to sink or swim 
by my profession. 

" 19th. A man called on me for advice, which is the first business I 
have had in Georgetown. 

" 21st. So much is said to me of buying the half of the printing- 
office, that I think I shall offer to buy, on condition that I may, if not 
satisfied, return it within a year. 

" 23d. This day was again applied to in the business of my pro- 
fession, so I have obtained the privilege of charging two fees, $ 2.50 
each, during this week. 

" 27th. Being extremely weak, and unable to attend to any business, 
I rode to Sander's Well, — a medicinal well, about twelve miles from 
Georgetown. There was a dance at the house of entertainment this 
evening, and being invited into the hall, I spent a short time in looking 
at the company and chatting with some girls of my acquaintance. 
There were present people of all descriptions, — from those very respect- 
able to gamblers and prostitutes, or something little better. About ten 
o'clock I retired, but found myself in a room adjoining the ball, with an 
open doorway, which could not be entered without stooping, and so 
many holes between the timbers that every wind of heaven could pass 



THE NEWSPAPER BARGAIN CLOSED. 151 

over me. On examining my bed, I found on it but one sheet and one 
counterpane. I lay down without undressing, but got little sleep until 
the party broke up, which was about 1 a. m. 

" 28th. The day passed in rather a dull manner, as I had not yet 
formed acquaintances. I drank plentifully of the water, which produced 
a slight medicinal effect. 

" August 2d. After breakfast started for Georgetown. I think I 
have derived much benefit from the waters, for my appetite and strength 
have increased astonishingly within a week. I attended a ball this 
evening and danced three times, but found my strength unequal to much 
exertion. I made some blunders in dancing Kentucky reels, and on the 
whole was rather sober during the evening. 

" 4th. Yesterday Mr. Henderson was again bantering me on under- 
taking the paper here, and at length I offered to take one half the 
office, and give him twenty per cent on the net profits by way of rent. 
This day he said he would accept my offer, and wished me to draw up 
articles of agreement. But as I have not yet heard whether we shall 
be able to prosecute the Indiana speculation, I declined closing until I 
should have time to hear from Lexington. 

" 6th. Having learned some circumstances concerning the office, of 
which Mr. Henderson did not inform me, I became dissatisfied and 
resolved not to fulfil my agreement. In this I considered myself per- 
fectly justifiable, on account of the concealment of material circum- 
stances. Borrowed a horse and rode out to the Great Crossings to 
meeting, principally with an- intent to have a conversation with Colonel 
Johnson. Had an invitation to dine with Colonel J. Johnson, which I 
accepted. Colonel R. M. Johnson seemed very desirous that I should 
undertake the paper, and was sure some agreement might be made. 

"8th. Colonel R. M. Johnson brought Mr. Henderson and myself 
together, and by his intervention we came to an agreement, which was 
sketched in writing, but not completed. 

" I agree to undertake the editorial duties of the paper, the reading 
of proof-sheets, keeping a copy of accounts and drafting them for col- 
lection, collecting such of them as should come within the range of 
my business or travels, and laboring in the office one hour each day, 
unless otherwise engaged or absent, in folding papers, etc. 

"As I mentioned that I could, if I pleased, have the post-office in my 
hands, I was advised to take it. I therefore applied to Mr. Miller, post- 
master, and inquired if he still wanted a deputy. After some banter- 
ing, he offered to make me postmaster, on condition that I should 
resign in his favor at any time when he wished it, and pay him a cer- 
tain sum yearly for five years. Now I should like the office, but do not 
like the conditions. 



152 AUTOBIOGKAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

" Nothing has been completed, and from my observation of Mr. Hen- 
derson I conclude he has some inclination to be off from the bargain. I 
have no wish to bind bim to it contrary to his inclination. 

" Last evening Mr. Arnold, the schoolmaster here, offered me my 
board if I would come and help him when he should find difficulties in 
his studies. 

"10th. Agreed to board with Mr. Arnold. He gives me my board 
in consideration of some little instruction. I have the promise of six 
weeks certain, and more if we shall be mutually pleased. ' This evening 
had a letter from my friend, G. W. Hunt, informing me of the return 
of Mr. J. Prentiss, but not giving me any definite information with re- 
gard to our Indiana business. Resolved to go to Lexington to-morrow. 

"11th. Went to Lexington, but could not obtain any correct infor- 
mation in the above business. Called on Thomas Prentiss to see if he 
had transmitted money due to Mr. Williams cf Boston. For this busi- 
ness I shall probably obtain a fee of two dollars. 

" 12th. This morning a man by the name of Brashears was brought 
to town for examination before a magistrate for killing his father-in-law, 
a Mr. Joseph Snell. I went to the court-house, and for ten dollars, and 
the probability of being employed in the final trial, I appeared in his 
behalf. But he is poor and without money, so that my present fee as 
well as my final appearance in his behalf depend upon his father, who was 
not in town. My only object was that the prisoner might be admitted 
to bail, but this indulgence I was unable to obtain. The magistrates 
could not at first agree, but, finally, mutually consented that he be com- 
mitted for murder according to the information. 

" A little while after this determination the father of the prisoner 
arrived, and went to make an application to Judge Johnson, the event 
of which I have not yet learned. The circumstances of the killing seem 
to be these : The parties had been together during the day on some 
business. All was good humor. They drank cider together in com- 
pany with two others, until the whole of them were somewhat inebri- 
ated, when they all came to town and there completed their intoxication 
by drinking whiskey. A quarrel arose between Brashear and Snell, in 
which the former made use of harsh expressions. They went to Snell's 
house, where more cider was taken, the quarrel was renewed, in which 
Brashear either knocked or pushed Snell out of the door, who fell on 
some stones, which caused his immediate death. It was, as I thought, 
so evidently manslaughter that I did not exert myself as I otherwise 
should. 

" I was astonished, and somewhat mortified, to hear that the magis- 
trates disagreed. I became much interested in the prisoner, and hoped 
he would be admitted to bail. 



IS MADE POSTMASTER. 153 

"13th. The application to Judge Johnson has, as yet, been of no 
effect. He could only give an opinion, as one of the magistrates was 
absent. On my visiting the prisoner, he inquired for how much I would 
engage in his behalf. I answered, that if through my assistance he was 
cleared of the crime of murder, I would do it for $75, including the $10 
which he has already promised me. He seemed inclined to engage me, 
and said he would send his father to see me when he again came up. If 
I am not feed, and can volunteer with a good grace, I shall certainly do so. 

" This day I closed a bargain with Mr. Miller, the postmaster, on the 
conditions which I had before offered. In consideration of his procur- 
ing me to be made his successor immediately, and the use of the small 
building called the shop, back of his house, I engage to give him $ 180 
for four years, or so long as I shall hold the office, and to resign in his 
favor if he shall want the office again for his own use within six years. 
These terms I am convinced would be regarded as degrading, and we 
mutually agreed that they should be kept secret. I, however, feel con- 
scious of no moral wrong, and see a prospect of some profit and many 
conveniences, counterbalanced, perhaps, by the inconveniences attending 
it. But if dissatisfied, I can resign when I please, and he will be at 
liberty to make conditions with any other person. 

" lJfth. Removed my board to Arnold's, and my books into the post- 
office. 

" 17th. Learned to my sorrow that Mr. Henry was feed for the pris- 
oner for whom I the other day appeared. It was done by the father, 
without consulting his son, and before he knew me. 

"18th. Being determined to have something to say in the case, I 
offered my services to the prisoner without fee. 

" 22d. This day the prisoner was brought by habeas corpus before 
the circuit judge, in order, if possible, to procure bail. A question 
arose concerning the jurisdiction of the judge, but this was overruled. 
Before this happened, however, I was obliged to retire in consequence 
of a severe pain in my right knee. 

" 23d. Can hardly walk. The discussion on Brashear's case con- 
tinued until this day, when he was recommitted. 

" 25th. Knee better, but not well. Began to write a speech for the 
trial of Brashear. 

"28th. My knee nearly well. I am still writing on the speech, 
investigating miscellaneous points of law, and taking care of the post- 
office. 

" 31st. My health never was better. But I abuse the blessing I 
enjoy by too much indulgence of a most voracious appetite. I never 
ate so much in my life, either of food or fruit, and find it impossible to 
satisfy myself. 



154 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

" September 11th. This morning received a letter from Mr. Sawyer, 
one of the associates for forming an emigration company, informing me 
that he was in Lexington, that a constitution was forming, that the 
thing would now go into effect, and requesting my presence there this 
day. After considerable trouble, I obtained a horse, and rode there. 
I found the business not perfected, and that I should be under the 
necessity of stopping three or four days. 

" 12th. I procured the constitution of the before-mentioned society, 
drawn up by Major Stackpole of Boston. There were many blanks in 
it, and some of the provisions are not satisfactory. Amendments were 
suggested, and it was given over to the further consideration of the 
moneyed men now in Lexington, who contemplate engaging in the busi- 
ness. 

" 13th. This evening we who have been forming a company for emi- 
gration, or rather for making our fortunes, had a conference. We are 
divided into two classes, called residents and non-residents. The non- 
residents are to purchase $ 190,000 worth of Georgia scrip from the 
owners of it in New England, and advance $ 61,000 for the purchase 
and improvement of land. 

" There will be aboard of directors chosen from the non-residents, in 
the choice or proceedings of whom the residents have no voice. 

" With this scrip, and the necessary money, the directors are to pur- 
chase of the United States 100,000 acres of land, to be located, if Con- 
gress will permit, in the Indiana Territory. The scrip is to be pur- 
chased on a credit of ten years at six per cent interest, and the whole 
land is to be conveyed to three trustees, in trust, as security for the 
payment of interest and principal. Whenever three dollars per acre 
has been paid into the hands of the trustees, they, in conjunction with 
the directors, have power to give deeds in fee simple to purchasers. 
This money, instead of the land, will constitute a. trust fund for the 
payment of the before-mentioned company's debts. It is, in the mean 
time, to be vested in bank or six per cent United States stock, and 
if, on the dissolution of the company, any surplus remain, it is to be 
divided like the other company property. The residents are entitled 
to equal shares of company stock, in consideration of which they settle 
on the company lands, procure settlers, and devote their whole attention 
to the business of the company. For their support they are each al- 
lowed $ 200 a year, or if they marry, $ 300, with the rent jointly of a 
house worth $ 6,000. They choose a chairman, and have a secretary, 
clerks, and a treasurer, the latter of whom is to be appointed by the 
board of directors. They are to enter into no private speculations, 
and are to take oath not to speculate on the company. By their con- 
sent and that of the board of directors all sales are to be made. 



BECOMES EDITOR. I55 

Residents and non-residents have the liberty to take up 200 acres of 
land for a farm, and one lot each in town. These are to be selected by 
the residents, and distributed by lot. The shares of the non-residents are 
transferable, but not of the non-residents, except by last will or testa- 
ment, or by operation of law consequent on death. 

" Any resident may be expelled for misconduct, with the consent of . 
two thirds of the proprietors in value ; but is, at the dissolution of the 
partnership, to receive an amount of the profits in proportion to the 
time he was a member. 

" The company is to continue ten years, unless sooner dissolved by 
the consent of two thirds in value of the proprietors. At the dissolu- 
tion, after paying the company's debts, the overplus is to be equally 
divided among the shares. The company will consist of twenty ; ten 
of each sort. 

" By act of Congress the Georgia scrip can be located only in the 
Mississippi Territory. The principal men in the company will petition 
for leave to locate in Indiana, and we are assured by some members that 
the petition will be granted. If not, there will be a location in the Missis- 
sippi Territory, where I have promised to go. Some of the company are 
very sanguine, and think we shall make fifty or sixty thousand dollars 
each, but I do not anticipate more than half that sum. 

" To-morrow I shall return to Georgetown, and throw all my pro- 
fessional prospects to the wind. I consider it fortunate that I have 
made no arrangements to fix me here permanently. I expect to be em- 
ployed in a few days on a journey to explore the Indiana Territory. 

" 14th. Returned to Georgetown determined to make arrangements 
to quit the profession of law, as I think prospects authorize it. Ac- 
cordingly I sold the ' Laws of Kentucky ' and Story's ' Pleadings ' to Mr. 
S. Penn for $ 23, and desired Mr. Miller to free me from the arrange- 
ment I had made with him. * 

" It. is, however, my intention, if I should be here the next court, to 
speak for Brashear, just to show the people that I can make a speech, 
and do not quit the profession for want of spouting talents. As I shall 
not be constantly employed in my new business until January or Feb- 
ruaiy next, I intend to employ the interim on the poem which I began 
at Mrs. Clay's. But not being able to find the few hundred lines which 
I wrote when there, I shall be under the necessity of writing them over 
again. I shall likewise remain at present in the post-office, and give 
time to Mr. Miller to make further arrangements. It is doubtful 
whether I resume practice, even if this business should fail. I was 
never pleased with it, and but partial success, with the means for ob- 
taining speedily the good graces of the people fills me with disgust. 

" Perhaps I shall, if I obtain the post-office, purchase the printing- 



156 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

office and try my fortune as an editor. I should then have it in my 
power, free of expense, to obtain news earlier than any other editor in 
Kentucky. 

" 20th. I have labored continually for two days in reviewing and copy- 
ing a speech for the trial of Brashear. I have now brought it into a 
form to suit me tolerably well. 

" 21st. Received a letter from Mr. Sawyer, at Lexington, informing 
me that they were ready for completing the instrument of our associa- 
tion. 

" 22d. Rode to Lexington. Did not find the instrument completed, 
but it is thought it will be ready to-morrow. Rode out to Mr. Clay's. 

" 2Sd. Returned to town. Read over the constitution and found 
most of my objections removed ; but am not, on the whole, satisfied with 
it. We residents are made too much the slaves of non-residents. 
However, some other alterations were made, which rendered it less ex- 
ceptionable, but still the objectionable parts of the instrument, with the 
uncertainty of procuring the indulgence of locating in Indiana Terri- 
tory, makes me doubtful of the propriety of engaging in it at all. On 
the whole, I returned to Georgetown, resolved to withdraw from the 
company within sixty days, the time granted to the residents to con- 
sider the subject, provided I can make an arrangement in Georgetown. 

" The plan is to endeavor to induce Mr. Miller to surrender me the 
post-office, without my promise of resignation on request ; then 
•to wait on Colonel Johnson, make my appointment to the post-office 
certain, and then purchase the printing-office. I should thus have an 
opportunity to open a correspondence with all the cities, and not be in 
danger of interruption by this request from Miller. 

" After my arrival in Georgetown, I proposed the thing to Mr. Miller, 
who said he could not agree. I at length offered, if he would con- 
sent to my remaining postmaster, to permit him to find a deputy, take 
all the profits, and would even pay the postage of all letters he should 
send and receive. Nothing could apparently be more liberal ; yet he 
said he could not assent, but would think of it till to-morrow. 

" 25th. Miller and I have finally made an arrangement. I am to 
resign in his favor, if requested, after four years ; and within six, provided 
he shall become interested in the printing-office, if I shall then be the 
owner of it and request him. For four years I give him $ 180, for a 
building valued at $ 60 per year and the office. We have agreed to 
reveal the arrangement to Colonel R. M. Johnson, and ask him to rec- 
ommend me. 

" 26th. I received a letter from W. G. Hunt, in Lexington, informing 
me that the constitution of the migration society would this evening be 
ready for signature, and requested me to come up. But I am tired of 



NEWSPAPER NEGOTIATIONS. 157 

obeying such summonses, and intend, even if I should not make an ar- 
rangement here, not to go until they are actually ready. 

" 27th. Called on Colonel Johnson, who promised me I should have 
his influence for the post-office if I would buy Henderson's half of the 
printing-office, but said he had better delay till he goes on to Washington. 
In the mean time, that I had better make a conditional bargain with 
Henderson, and undertake the paper immediately. I shall probably 
follow his advice, if I can make a bargain with Henderson. 

" 28th. Called on Henderson this morning. He thought he could 
not sell for less than $ 1,200, and I offered $ 800. I was, however, re- 
solved to offer more, but as he seemed very indifferent to the business I 
left him with very little hope of being able to agree at all. However, 
I again called and made this proposal in writing, which I told him was 
an ultimatum. I offer $ 1,000 for his half of the office, payable in one, 
two, and three years ; one half in work of the office. He at first said 
he would not do it ; but finally said he would think of it till noon, and 
then submit to me his ultimate proposal. But as he did not call on 
me, I again visited him. He said he had not had sufficient time to think 
of it, and was immediately going out to Colonel R. M. Johnson's. I 
wished to see Colonel James, and offered to ride out thus far with him. 
On the way he told me he was not anxious to sell at present, and un- 
folded his reasons. They were plans which he thinks would conduce to 
increase the profits of the office. He wished I had purchased Read's 
half, for he said he had long wished to engage with himself, in the estabr 
lishment, some person of good education, and thought I would exactly 
meet his wishes. Believing his plan one which would conduce to mutual 
benefit, I proposed attempting to induce Mr. Read to relinquish his bar- 
gain, and offered the same for Read's half that I had offered him for his 
own. He seconded my proposal, and finding that Colonel James was 
not at home, I returned and visited Mr. Read. He was very willing to 
relinquish his bargain, and I now considered my fate as fixed. But 
some good or evil spirit which seems determined to thwart every plan 
of mine, because, I suppose, they are not for the best, led Read to 
examine his books and make some estimates as delusive as flattering, 
which induced him to change his mind. Henderson, Read, and myself 
had a long talk this evening, but he could not be persuaded to alter his 
resolution. 

" On departure, Mr. Henderson told me that Read had hitherto never 
paid a cent of the expenses, but that unless he would relinquish, he 
should now bear his proportional part. He said Colonel R. M. Johnson 
could in a moment induce Read to relinquish, and said he would ride 
out and see him to-morrow. To this I assented. 

" 29th. Talked with Mr. Read to-day, and received from him pro- 



158 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

posals for relinquishing his bargain, on which I think we shall agree. 
Met him and Henderson in the evening and struck a bargain. 

"30th. All the papers in our bargain before mentioned were execut- 
ed. I give five notes to Mr. Henderson of $ 200 each, payable in one, 
two, three, four, and five years. The die is now cast, and I am fixed to 
Georgetown. God grant that I may not repent my bargain. 

" October 2d. This day I came in possession of one half of the print- 
ing-office. It was a verbal agreement with Mr. Eead that he should 
have the hands as boarders. This evening he complained to me that 
they would not come when his breakfast was ready, and seemed to 
attribute' it to Mr. Henderson. I talked with Mr. H. and the hands, 
and found they had objections to boarding with Mr. Read at_ any rate. 
From what I could learn I believed their objections reasonable, and told 
them there should be no compulsion, and that we would satisfy Read as 
well as we could. 

" This day commences the circuit court here. The grand jury found 
an indictment against Brashear a true bill ; but as they had rejected the 
one laid before them by the Commonwealth, and drawn up one of their 
own, the attorney would not accept it. So they will have to begin 
again to-morrow. 

" 3d. Talked with Read, who did not want the boys to board with 
him if they were unwilling, but seemed to think he ought to receive 
some damages. I said if any damage resulted, I was willing to pay a 
proportional part, and so we separated. 

" I composed a short address to the public, which was printed in the 
form of subscription papers. 

" The court to-day proceeded to make up a jury, and spent the whole 
day. The number, twelve, was at length completed. 

" Jfth. Spent the whole day in examining witnesses, and did not finish. 
I cannot but have some apprehensions for Brashear, there are so many 
black expressions attending the deed. 

" 5th. Completed the examination of evidence about noon. The 
case was then opened by Mr. Breckenridge. He spoke for about three 
hours, and was answered by myself. I spoke for about an hour and 
then sat down, more dissatisfied with my performance than I ever was 
before in my life. Yet I was soon after complimented for my ex- 
cellent speech, and told that I made many cry. In the evening I was 
even told that it was said so great an orator had never spoken in 
Georgetown. But the fact was, I had not a perfect command of myself 
until I was more than half through, and absolutely forgot one third I 
intended to say. I was followed by Mr. Henry, who was interrupted 
by adjournment. 

" 6th. Mr. Henry finished, and was followed by Mr. Flournoy ; these 



MAIDEN SPEECH AT THE BAB. 159 

two and myself were for the prisoner. Mr. Shannon then began, but 
was interrupted by adjournment at night. 

" 7th. Mr. Shannon concluded at dinner-time ; the jury retired, and 
after dinner brought in a verdict of voluntary manslaughter. Ten 
years in the penitentiary. 

"8th. Have received many flattering compliments concerning my 
speech. Flournoy said to some one that he was never in his life more 
disappointed and surprised. This evening, too, I was much mortified ; 
for being at Mr. T. Herndon's, I was asked whether I had spoken for or 
against the prisoner. ' Zounds,' thought I, ' has not Fame told you ? ' 
But I was even obliged to tell them myself, for the partial jade had not 
put her head within those windows. But a little mortification is whole- 
some, for otherwise the human mind would run mad. Vanity, vanity, 
the foe of improvement, the enemy of talent ! In the evening after I had 
spoken I was walking the street and heard some one say, ' There was 
a great speech made in the court-house to-day.' ' That 's mine,' said 
vanity, and I stretched my ears to hear the next words, but, unfortu- 
nately, the person spoke so low I could not catch them. 

" Well, one number of the ' Minerva Press ' has come out in my 
name, and what say the public? Why the public says or cares very 
little about it. I have already repented of one article there inserted. 
I do not know whether I am censured for it, but it contains some obser- 
vations concerning General Adair which I do not approve. 

" Mr. Miller and I this day signed an agreement, and his resignation 
will this night be sent to the General Post-Ofiice. I feel some of the 
terms as too degrading, but the bargain is for my interest. It will be kept 
secret. He resigns and rents me his shop. If I succeed him I agree 
to give $ 180 per year for four years, and after that resign if he 
shall wish to be reappointed within six. He agrees, if I shall own the 
printing-office, and request it, to become interested on my resignation, 
and conduct the correspondence. If I resign within four years, I leave 
to him the nomination of my successor ; and if I approve, recommend 

him. 

" 11th. I have attended court but little this week, nor do I 
think the flattering reception I have met with will induce me to con- 
tinue the practice of law. I observe with much satisfaction that I am 
now treated with much more deference than formerly. I have now in 
my head the plan of a religious publication, which I think will be at- 
tempted by Mr. Henderson and myself, if we can procure a sufficient 
number of subscribers. 

" 17th. I find myself now considerably occupied. I have formed an 
agreement with John Miller to come and live with me in the post-office. 
I give him his board, and instruct him in any branch he may be inclined 



160 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

to study, for which I receive $80 per year, — $ 70 from George and $ 10 
from himself, and his services in the post-office, when I shall be absent 
or necessarily engaged. I have been much pleased with him, and think 
we shall agree perfectly. He comes this evening, and stays for no 
limited time. 

" A man applied to me to-day to bring a suit against another, and the 
temptation was so strong to make a little money, that I concluded, for 
the time being, to practice law. Perhaps I shall put out a sign, and 
continue practice at least till I know whether the printing-office will 
afford me employment. 

" 18th. This day issued proposals for a religious journal, to be pub- 
lished once in two months, and be called ' The Religious Intelligencer.' 
Its object is to subserve the interests of the Christian religion in gen- 
eral. Moved the post-office into the shop. 

"26th. Affairs have gone on in a uniform train since the 18th. I, 
however, plainly perceive that the printing-office will cause me some embar- 
rassment for the want of funds. However, after a year, I think, with 
proper management it will not only become a profitable business, but 
tolerably pleasant. Our foreman, Read, is an unpleasant fellow, ill- 
tempered, and sometimes drunk ; we bear with him as well as we can, 
but do not think he will remain long with us. 

" This day came on my appointment as postmaster. But I fear I 
cannot exercise its privileges until I get a commission. This is incon- 
venient to me, as I am anxious to enlarge my correspondence and circu- 
late subscription papers for my paper and religious work. 

" 28th. Last evening a man was killed in an affray not far from town. 
It seems the parties were nearly all drunk, and who gave the fatal blow 
is a question which nobody can answer. Three or four have been taken 
and brought to town. Such are the miserable effects of drunkenness. 
Brashear has obtained a rule for a new trial, and is now out of prison 
on bail. 

"December 2d. So it seems here is a hiatus of nearly a month. 
Close engagement in business has prevented my thinking of my journal. 

"The men mentioned above had an examination of nearly a week's 
continuance, and were admitted to bail. 

"About two weeks ago I became so dissatisfied with Mr. Read, our 
foreman, that, in conjunction with Mr. Henderson, I resolved to get rid 
of him. We accordingly had a conversation with him, in which we all 
kept our temper very well, and finished by concluding to separate. He 
said but one hard thing, which was, that he thought Mr. Lyle, one of 
the hands in the office, was put in as a spy on his conduct. But on my 
saying that what he said was false, and as base as it was false, he re- 
canted and said he did not mean what he said. He had not followed 



IS APPOINTED POSTMASTER AT GEORGETOWN. 161 

my directions, had violated my instructions in selecting matter for the 
paper, and had inserted pieces without ever bringing them to me. Ten 
dollars a week is something to save, for it does not come in hand every 
day. 

" About the same time another trouble came upon me. I was invited 
out to Mr. Ward's, who, I found, wished to know everything I could 
tell him about Mr. Henderson's affairs. I discovered in the sequel that 
he owes Ward about $ 2,600 ; as security for which he has made over to 
him one half of the printing-office, and other chattels and accounts, by 
an instrument bearing date only two days after my purchase. I was at 
first startled, because I thought it was prior. He had likewise told 
Ward that he had transferred my notes to Colonel J. Johnson. As Ward 
will doubtless be obliged to take and sell the office, I wished to have some 
voice in the business as I am so intimately concerned, and mentioned to 
him Mr. Lyle, a hand in the office, as a proper person to purchase. I had 
before expressed a wish to Lyle to this effect, who I think would be glad 
of the opportunity. The next day I talked with Mr. Shellers, now our 
foreman, and found that Mr. Henderson owed him about $ 200, which 
he began to fear he should never get. He wished me to find out if my 
notes were transferred to Colonel Johnson, and if not, and it were possi- 
ble, that I would get one of them for him. I promised, and the next day 
spoke to Mr. Henderson, and learned that but one of my notes had been 
transferred to Colonel Johnson, and he was willing that Shellers should 
have another. But learning that he was so much involved, and had 
not always told the truth, I began to be alarmed for myself. At first I 
resolved to come to a crisis, and have his half of the office sold at once ; 
but on second thought, as his services will be essential in procuring sub- 
scribers to the religious work I have in contemplation, I concluded to 
keep myself in his debt as much as possible, and let the matter go on 
for a time ; but I doubt not he must relinquish within a year, so great 
are his debts and so little his ability to pay them. Indeed, perhaps it 
will be the better for me the sooner it be closed. These embarrassments 
are almost intolerable. 

" I have received my commission as postmaster, and on Monday, 27th 
ult., began to board at Thomas Theobald's. I give him $ 100 each for 
Miller and myself, and $ 18 per year for mine, and $ 15 for his washing. 
Thus my expenses to him will be $ 233, and $ 110 I pay to G. W. Mil- 
ler, make $343, — somewhat more than the estimated profits of the 
post-office. Add to this $ 150 for other expenses, and it will cost me 
$493, say $500 per year to live. 

" Some time in November I paid a visit to Mr. Alexander's, in Wood- 
ford. I take a lively interest in that family, for, from my own acquaint- 
ance, and the representations of some of my Yankee friends who 
11 



162 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

have lived in the family, they are one of the most happy circles in the 
world. 

" A few days ago I was much gratified with receiving a letter from 
Mr. Clay's two sons, enclosing me two dollars for a paper, one year. I 
wrote them an answer, and have since written to their father. This I 
considered myself bound to do, because I had not called on him when 
he was at home. I have also received a letter from my friend Fliigel, 
likewise subscribing to the paper. 

" A growing subscription seems to be making for my ' Religious In- 
telligencer,' and I am considerably occupied in the business which re- 
gards it. The plan which I have adopted has been to write to most of 
the postmasters in the State and other places, thus obtaining the names 
of the preachers, and then addressing them personally. Mr. Hender- 
son is so much occupied with other business that he cannot attend to 
this. 

" 10th. I have gotten rid of half my troubles by dismissing Read, 
and I believe I should be rid of half the rest were I free from Mr. 
Henderson. He is very much in debt, and nothing but his usefulness 
to the office at the present time induces me to remain in partnership 
with him a moment. Indeed, if he does no more for the office this trip 
than he did the last, I think we shall break at once. I took away Lon- 
don, the negro, from his house, because he was not well-treated, and 
since then I have had complaints from all the other hands. Though the 
dismissal of Read has lessened the expenses of the office nearly one 
third, I think they may be lessened still more. My present plan is, 
that Mr. Lyle, a very careful and economical hand in the office, should 
buy Henderson's half, and then, with the aid of three or four good 
apprentices, we could do all the work without any journeymen at all. 
This would save about $ 500 more a year, and reduce the expenses to 
$600 or $700. 

" 15th. Read went away to Frankfort, and left his wife and family 
in a room adjoining the office, which we had rented of Mr. Davis, the 
present owner, for its use. I procured a room for her, and removed her 
at my own expense, and it was well I did, for that very night she was 
taken ill, and brought forth a boy. I wrote to Read a serious letter on 
his conduct towards his family." 



CHAPTER VI. 

" 1816, January 1st. This year finds me involved in perplexity and 
vexation. My business at present is, I believe, the most uncomfortable 
in the world, and I am engaged in it with those who afford me little 
pleasure or prospect of gain. Mr. Henderson is gone, and some even 
express doubts whether he will return. His situation is indeed embar- 
rassed, and, what is very singular, he never gave me the least hint 
of it. I have stopped all accounts which were opened in our names, 
and am determined on having a new arrangement the moment he 
returns. 

" There was a ball here at Christmas, which I attended. On the 
evening of the ball I had an application to attend to a land claim in 
this county, on which a man by the name of Bullock wished to bring 
suit. The next morning I went out about eight miles with him, and 
spent the day in carrying the chain. 

" In the evening I returned to Georgetown to superintend the pub- 
lication of the paper. In the morning I again went out, spent the day 
in making out and serving ejectments, and at night was completely ex- 
hausted and sick. 

" This claim covers upwards of eight hundred acres; one fourth part 
of which Bullock agrees to give me, should he recover, as a com- 
pensation for my services. If it be lost through my fault, I pay the 
cost ; if through defect of title, he pays it. The prospect is good for 
recovering it. 

" 10th. After my agreement with Bullock, I began to revolve in my 
mind my future prospects, and eventually concluded that I had better 
release myself from the printing-office, except so far as relates to the 
editing of the paper, and accordingly laid a plan, by which the office 
was to be sold to Shellers and Lyle, while I should remain editor, and 
continue the practice of law. 

"Accordingly, I proposed this plan, and at first it seemed quite 
likely to be effected. But on making a calculation from the past, Shel- 
lers was not satisfied, and suggested to me that I was probably sinking 
money every day. I sat down and made a balance of accounts, which 
likewise convinced me of the fact. The paper, the advertising, and the 



164 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

job-work will not support the office. Just at this time, too, I received 
a letter from Colonel E. M. Johnson, in answer to one I had written, 
informing me that Colonel James had a mortgage upon the office even 
before I bought. This put me in great trepidation. I began to look 
around for security, and lay hold of everything which I could rightfully 
take into my possession. Mr. Henderson, however, returned four days 
ago. I went to see him, and brought him to my office that very even- 
ing. Here a conversation took place not very agreeable to either of us, 
which ended in an agreement that I should relinquish my purchase to 
him, and give him all the labor I have bestowed, on condition he should 
put accounts into my hands sufficient to secure me against my notes 
and every account which has arisen since I became interested. 

" I had all the accounts for subscriptions to the paper made over on 
the spot, and an agreement to that effect lodged in the hands of T. S. 
Theobald. The estimated amount of these is more than $ 2,000. 

" I declined having anything more to do with the paper, excepting as 
an editor, in which capacity I would continue to act until the return of 
Colonel J. Johnson. The hands, however, refused to work unless he 
would make them secure, which he did, by giving me liberty to collect 
accounts sufficient to pay them. But, after some deliberation, it was 
concluded to stop the paper at the next number. 

" 16th. The report of the intended stoppage of the paper raised a 
considerable ferment, and many advised me to proceed, but in vain. To- 
day, three days from its proper time, has been issued the last number 
of the ' Minerva Press.' During last week I carried out the subscrip- 
tion accounts, but find a considerable amount of them belongs to 
Chambers, and that four of my notes, instead of two, as I had been 
told, have been transferred to J. Johnson. I have not given up the 
office, nor shall I until I know myself entirely secure. I have now to 
go to work and collect accounts. Mr. Henderson allows me fifteen per 
cent on all moneys collected, and Chambers twenty on all out of the 
county belonging to him. 

" I shall set out in a few days and make a business of it. I have 
made out the post-office returns for the last quarter, and find the com- 
mission much smaller than I expected. After paying Miller according 
to agreement, it will not leave me more than $ 60 per year. 

" 18th. Induced by the solicitations of the people here, I have this 
day, in conjunction with Shellers and Lyle, issued proposals for a new 
paper to be published here, which will be called the 'Georgetown 
Patriot.' Our determination is that we will not begin unless we have 
five hundred subscribers. Whether that number can be procured is at 
least doubtful. I am, myself, very indifferent about it, as I am certain 
it will be more for my final interest to continue the practice of law. I 



COLONEL E. M. JOHNSON. 165 

have learnt by experience how vexatious is the business of an editor, or 
rather of an owner of a newspaper establishment. 

"21st. I received a letter this morning from Colonel E. M. Johnson, 
who seemed, as I thought, to be a little displeased with a letter I wrote 
him some days ago, in answer to the one from him which informed me 
that Colonel James had a mortgage on the office. Suspecting that he had 
written more fully, and probably more freely, to Mr. Ward on the subject, 
I asked Mr. "Ward. He told me that the Colonel supposed I must think 
he and his brother had acted very dishonorably with me in respect to the 
purchase of the office ; that I seemed to think I was in bad hands, and 
that James was coming home soon, when he would probably release me, 
etc., etc. I felt very much hurt, as I had never harbored a thought 
that there had been anything dishonorable in them, although a suspicion, 
or rather a possibility of the thing sometimes flashed across my mind 
before I had an explanation from Henderson. I sat down and wrote to 
him, disclaiming in warm terms all ideas of the kind and making a 
statement of the facts in which I had been deceived by Henderson, and 
likewise requested Mr. Ward to write on the subject, who promised. I 
have no doubt he will be satisfied, but care little whether he is or not. 

" Z2d. On hearing that a young lady in town had said some fine 
things of me, I had a curiosity to see her. She is a sister of Mrs. Tay- 
lor, named Payne, in high repute. I called at her brother's, but did 
not fall in love, though I was pleased. 

" 29th. I intended to have gone on collecting business ere this, but 
could get nobody to stay in the post-office. I have written to Mr. 
Hough, now in Lexington, who I think will come. Should he not, Mr. 
Shellers will stay, and I shall set out on Wednesday or Thursday. It 
is a disagreeable job, and I wish it was done. Our subscription goes on 
tolerably well, but I still doubt of success. 

" February 1st. Had a letter from Colonel James Johnson, in which 
he expresses much surprise at the sensitiveness which I displayed in my 
letters to his brother, and seems to be offended at one expression therein 
contained. It was that I would not hold property so subject to the 
control of any man, as by any possibility to influence the opinions which 
I must necessarily express. He seems to apply it to himself, but I in- 
tended no such application. It was intended to be a general idea, and 
I particularly excepted him. It gave me considerable pain ; but I am 
resolved to maintain the opinion as well as the practice, though I may 
hazard the indignation of all the world. He says I likewise spoke 
roughly of Mr. Henderson. It is true that I did speak more roughly 
than facts would justify, but I was then under a mistake, I thought he 
had sold me property which was not his own. But the Colonel confirms 
Mr. Henderson's account that the mortgage has been redeemed, and, as 



166 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

he thinks, given up. Thus all this misunderstanding has arisen from 
Mr. Henderson's not communicating to me the real situation of the 
business. But sometimes I am careless whether the Johnsons are my 
friends or not ; for if they were enemies, I should have an object for 
competition. At any rate, if they, in the present situation of affairs, 
become hostile to me, I shall be convinced that all they want of me is 
to make me a tool. But I flatter myself, if such be their plan, they 
will not find me so smooth to their hands as they could wish. But ex- 
cepting only the offence which seems to be taken at that letter, I have 
no cause to suspect them. 

" Sd. The Colonel, it is said, will be at home in a day or two, and I 
intend to call on him immediately for an explanation. As I must fortify 
myself in some measure at the expense of Mr. Henderson, I have invited 
him to accompany me. 

" The Colonel seems to be willing to take the office, and I think it best 
for me to give it up and quit the paper entirely. 

"4th. Bode out to the Great Crossings with Mr. Henderson to see 
Colonel J. Johnson ; but he had not come home. After my return, I 
sat down and wrote him a statement of the case, which I shall request 
Mr. Henderson to hand to him. 

"5th. Mr. Hough, who will remain in my office during my absence, 
arrived to-day. 

"7th. Set out on my journey. Dined at Berry's, and stopped for 
the night at Captain Eli Short's. Got eighty-five cents to-day. 

" 8th. Proceeded on to Nelson's. Went several miles in a circuit 
through the woods and hills ; saw one deer, which was the first wild one 
I ever saw, and returned to Nelson's. 

" 9th. Went down upon the Crooked Creek road and settled with 
the subscribers there. This evening was excessively cold, and I was 
almost frozen before I reached Clarke's, on the road. 

"10th. Though very cold, I started put before breakfast this morn- 
ing, and visited two subscribers at some distance from the road. Before 
I reached the house of the first my whiskers and the lappels of my 
great coat were covered with frost. Here, for the first time, I got angry, 
and promised to warrant a man. 

" Breakfasted at Arnold's, and then went on to Theobald's. Here was 
a collection of people paying the direct tax ; and here I first became 
acquainted with Joseph Glenn, the deputy collector. 

" 11th. Having left a number of accounts with G. P. Theobald for 
collection, I went forward to Gain's. Here again there was a consider- 
able collection on a trial, and among them several subscribers. 

" There were several packets of papers left at Gain's, which Mr. Hen- 
derson had agreed should be left in other neighborhoods. Most of these 



A COLLECTING TOUR. 167 

men should have received their papers in those packets. They declared 
to me they had never taken the paper from Gain's, and therefore would 
not pay. I proposed that they should pay for what papers they had re- 
ceived. To this they agreed, and supported each other in saying they 
had received but about twelve papers. For this number I settled with 
four of them, but discovered that they had imposed upon me. They 
had taken the papers from Gain's, and had received more than twelve 
papers. One of the men was high sheriff of Boone County, named 
Wigginton. 

" 12th. This day I went down into Mr. Wigginton's neighborhood to 
Ben Stevens's and Will Stevens's, satisfied myself that these men had 
imposed upon me, and returned to Gain's. 

" 13th. Drew out accounts against those with whom I had settled, 
and put those with all others which I had in this neighborhood into the 
hands of a constable, ordering him to warrant Mr. Wigginton without 
delay. Rode down to Boone court-house. Found there a Yankee by 
the name of Boson, a lawyer. 

" Having learnt by experience how much confidence is to be placed in 
the people of this quarter, I put all my accounts into the hands of a 
constable. I shall pursue this plan for the future. 

" 15th. Having some business with Squire Grant, I steered for his 
house. He lives in a bend of Licking. You pass along two miles on a 
stupendous ridge, with the river at its foot both on your right and left. 
At length you pass off its end into a bottom of considerable size, and 
here lives Squire Grant. With improvements, the place might be made 
singularly romantic. 

" I had a demand on this man for $ 30, from Daniel Bradford, of 
Georgetown. He had not the money, but said he would meet me the 
next day at Elijah Grant's, and pay the money. I pushed on to Elijah 
Grant's, where I again met with Glenn, collecting taxes. 

" 17th. Grant met me here to-day, but instead of making any ar- 
rangement, slipped away without my knowledge. I shall send a con- 
stable after him. This evening went on with Glenn to Grant's Lick. 

" 18th. This morning enclosed to a constable all my accounts in this 
neighborhood, and rode to Falmouth with Mr. Glenn. On the road saw 
two beautiful deer. 

" Falmouth is a mean place, surrounded by poor land. The only 
favorable circumstance which attends it is the commerce of Licking. 
Poor land has, on account of the intercourse with Cincinnati through 
this channel, obtained a value superior to that of better land in other 
quarters. 

" 19th. Spent the day at Captain Smith's, it being impossible to pass 
the creeks, on account of the height of the waters. 



168 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

" 21st. Arrived in Georgetown. I have been uncommonly healthy 
during this expedition, notwithstanding the unpleasantness of the 
weather. Not many things worthy of remark have come under my ob- 
servation, excepting the management of the newspaper. Ever since its 
commencement it seems to have been edited, printed, and carried in 
a way which would damn any paper. Mr. Henderson had procured a 
large number of subscribers on the ridge and on Licking. He sent a 
boy to carry a private mail, who was not only too young, but incon- 
ceivably careless. He received money and gave no credit. At the end 
of ten months the United States mail began to go over the ridge, and 
the private mail was discontinued. On Licking, most people had paid 
in advance. Many on the ridge had paid at the end of the year, and 
directed their papers to be discontinued. These circumstances made 
the whole business one tissue of vexation. Most of the accounts pre- 
sented had been paid in advance, or the persons had directed discon- 
tinuances. It is not surprising that the paper lost its credit, and happy 
it was I quit when I did. Nearly a hundred of the papers should have 
been discontinued long ago. When I arrived here I found letters from 
various quarters making the same statements. If out of the $ 2,300 on 
the accounts I collect $ 1,000, I shall do more than I expect. 

" The land through most of the counties where I have travelled is 
miserably poor compared with the land about Lexington ; and so are the 
people. It would, however, make a fine grazing country, but unfortu- 
nately none of the inhabitants know how to make cheese. Even their 
butter is poor. Boone has some fine land, and so has Harrison. There 
are in this region a considerable number of deer and wolves, but no 
bears. I saw an old man of eighty out with his hounds, whose whole 
delight was the music of their voices. Attended a ball this evening, in 
honor of the Father of his Country. I have never been so merry since I 
have been in Kentucky. 

"23d. Rode to Lexington to procure papers in the land suit in which 
I am engaged, but was unsuccessful. Called at Mr. Clay's. Rode to 
Woodford, and spent the night at Mr. Alexander's. 

" 24-th. Went to Versailles, on a visit to Mr. Farnham. Found him 
well and in much better spirits than heretofore. I suggested to him 
that I would gladly have him come to Georgetown and become a partner 
with me, but he did not seem to approve the idea. Returned with Mr. 
Guilford to Mr. Alexander's. After considerable persuasion, Miss Mari- 
anne and Miss Victoria Campbell were persuaded to let me see some of 
their poetry. I had seen a piece of Miss Alexander's before, and was 
not surprised to find it excellent, but Miss Campbell's absolutely aston- 
ished me. I have seldom seen a poem of more genuine pathos. Mr. 
Guilford likewise showed me some of Miss Alexander's prose composition, 



BECOMES EDITOR OF THE GEORGETOWN PATRIOT. 169 

which would do honor to a professor. He likewise told me that Mari- 
anne had written a piece in answer to one I wrote and sent to him, in 
which the last line of every stanza was 'Fair Marianne,' making her 
last lines end ' Fair Amos.' The idea made me laugh, but it changed 
almost in a moment my feelings towards her, as it completely explained 
the nature of hers. They seem to be of that playful, unmeaning 
nature which characterized Eliza Lawrence, though not so perfectly 
developed. There was, too, a shadow of ridicule about it, which Love 
cannot bear. Not that I loved her, but that I had something of that 
feeling which is often matured into passion. 

" 26th. Rode out to see Major Herndon, who was present in the sur- 
vey of Bullock's land. Could not obtain much satisfaction. Captain 
Branham was likewise present, but could remember nothing. On my 
return, I called on Colonel J. Johnson. I forgot to observe that on my 
return from my tour in the lower counties, I received a letter from 
Richard Miller, and a line from James, both stating that they were per- 
fectly satisfied. James now wished to know what were my intentions. 
I told him that I wished to relinquish the office to him, and take in my 
notes. He consented to take it off my hands. 

" 28th. On calculating to-day how many subscribers we have, we 
found the number within our knowledge 270. There must be nearly 
400, which is more than I expected. 

" March 19th. Little has happened for some days worthy of remark. 
Feeling relieved from business, and being considerably confined to the 
office, my mind has been uncommonly restless. Sometimes I am study- 
ing law and investigating cases ; sometimes thinking of poetry and form- 
ing plans for novels ; sometimes trying experiments in mechanics, and 
endeavoring to discover the perpetual motion. I have, in my fancy, 
constructed many machines, but soon discovered the folly of them. 

" 22d. This day Mr. Regis Alexander and Mr. Guilford called on me. 
The latter has acceded to my proposition of entering into a partnership, 
and will be here for that purpose about the first of June. I hope our 
success may answer my warmest wishes. We will make one great effort, 
and if we fail, will fail like men. 

" April 1st. This day is the first of our circuit court term. Mr. 
Guilford came over for the purpose of spending a week with me. I 
appeared in court and entered the action of ejectment which I had com- 
menced in favor of Robert and Edward Bullock. The latter gentleman 
arrived here during the course of the day. 

" 2d. Bullock had considerable conversation with some of the 
tenants concerning a compromise, but they could come to no conclu- 
sion. In the evening I made proposals to Bullock, and offered to go 
down with him the next day and attempt a compromise. 



170 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

" 3d. We rode down to the land, and, after spending most of the 
day, a compromise was effected with nine of the tenants, on the grounds 
which I had proposed. They were that the land should be surveyed 
and valued according to law, and then the tenants should pay five sixths 
of the valuation of the land, or give it up and receive pay for their im- 
provements. One fourth of the benefit hence resulting will accrue to me. 

" 8th. Mr. Guilford has left me again, and will return by the first 
of June, or sooner. We have talked much concerning building a dis- 
tillery, but have come to no determination. 

" 13th. Cabell Breckenridge asked me, for his mother and sister, to 
ride out to their house. Being very desirous to visit there, I hunted up 
a horse and went with him. 

" 14th. Returned again to Georgetown, after one of the most agree- 
able visits I have ever made. I found Mrs. Grayson, a young widow, 
sister to C. Breckenridge, one of the most social and pleasant ladies I 
have ever met with. She is now beautiful, and must once have been a 
picture. I believe that Colonel Nichols, a widower, who called with me 
only to spend a few minutes, was even more entertained than myself; 
for by some means he did not get away until near 4 p. si. to-day. 

" 20th. This day the first number of the Georgetown ' Patriot ' was 
published, of which I am editor. The arrangement is this, — Mr. Wood 
owns one half of the office and Colonel James Johnson the other. The 
latter gentleman becomes responsible for the whole expense of the busi- 
ness, and pays me $ 150 a year for editing the paper. It is not gen- 
erally known what is the arrangement, as all the business is transacted 
under the name of Kendall, Shellers, and Lyle. I feel my situation 
somewhat delicate, but not half so much so as when I owned one half of 
the office ; for if I now find that my course cannot be an independent 
one, I will quit. 

" 23d. Started off to the wedding of Samuel Theobald, about fifteen 
miles from this, in Fayette County. The evening was rather dull, as 
we had no amusement but cards. 

" 24th. Our amusement was the same as last evening. * A little be- 
fore night Dr. Henry and myself rode out to escort home some ladies, 
and after we had performed our task, concluded we would not return 
that night. So we started off to Mr. Robert Harrison's, but finally con- 
cluded we had rather go to Mrs. Breckenridge's. But we got lost in the 
woods, and did not arrive there until 8 p. m. 

" 25th. After breakfast, we set out on our return to Mr. Warfield's, 
the father of the bride. Having called on a very interesting lady on 
the way, a Miss Thomson, we arrived just as the company was ready to 
start for Mr. Theobald's father's, at Sander's Well. When we came to 
the Georgetown road we left the company and rode to Georgetown. 



TENDER SENTIMENTS. 171 

" 26th. Rode down to the Well, where there was a party ; but we 
had little pleasure, on account of the sickness of Mrs. Theobald's sister, 
Miss Warfield. 

" 27th. Returned to Georgetown quite restored to health by my dis- 
sipation. 

" 28th. I went to meeting this day, in town, not so much for the 
sake of hearing a sermon as for seeing a fine lady, with whom I had 
been in company yesterday. But lo ! when 1 had come there, in came 
another young lady, a Miss A. Payne, who took full possession of my 
feelings. Now this is a confession not much to my honor ; but nothing 
but truth shall appear in this journal. Well, I walked with Miss Payne 
to her brother's, in town, and spent the evening with her. I am ex- 
tremely well pleased with this lady, and, in the blunt language of the 
clown, I would have her if she would have me. But I do not perceive 
any ground to hope that she would marry me, plain, poor, and a Yan- 
kee as I am. 

" 29th. A dance was proposed for this evening, and we succeeded in 
collecting a brilliant little party at Mr. George's. Miss Payne again at- 
tracted much of my attention, and I gave her a piece of poetry which 
was caused by the chat of a ball-room some time ago. I had, however, 
added one stanza, which contained a pun upon her name, — 

' The victim sighed for Pain half mad, 

His Hood ran through him boiling hot ; 
'T was not for any pain he had, 
But for a Pain which he had not.' 

But I could not tell whether she was pleased or not. 

" 30th. My newspaper is extremely popular so far, and we have re- 
ceived an accession of more than fifty subscribers since we started. The 
people seem to be extremely well pleased with my editorial address. 

. " May 10th. I am again considerably occupied in the duties of my 
various business. This day I was employed on a warrant-trying, and 
came off with success, though opposed by R. P. Henry. This is the 
third trial on which I have been engaged, and every time have been 
successful. 

"■15th. Went out this evening to Colonel J. Johnson's to consult 
him on our business. I proposed that in the approaching electioneering 
campaign I would insert the writings of neither side, but print them in 
handbills, if the parties wished it, and circulate them with the paper. 
The plan met his approbation, and he said he would suggest it to R. M. 
Johnson. My wish is to steer as clear as possible of censure on either 
side ; for I wish not to give offence for another's benefit. 

"18th. Rode over to Mr. Alexander's on a visit to Guilford, accom- 
panied by Mr. Clarke, a Yankee resident in Georgetown. I found them 



172 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. ' 

all well, and Miss Marianne more interesting than ever. She has much 
improved her singing and playing upon the piano. 

" 19th. Visited a fine romantic place in the neighborhood of Alex- 
andria, as this place is called, which Guilford has named Lovedale. In 
the midst of a beautiful amphitheatre of rocks rises a charming stream, 
which flows a few rods and again sinks beneath a wild precipice. It is a 
fit emblem of birth and death. At its rise everything is regular and 
beautiful ; at its end all is broken and gloomy. But had the fair Mari- 
anne been with me it would have been doubly beautiful, doubly enchant- 
ing. After some time spent in this pleasant retreat, we returned to the 
house. Were I to live there but a short time, I should be enthusiasti- 
cally in love. Every time I see that charming girl she makes an im- 
pression which it takes days to wear away. What added much to the 
impression of this visit was the delight she expressed (but not to me) 
on reading some of my poetry. I had lent to Guilford a little select 
manuscript of it when he was last at Georgetown, which she had been 
reading. ' She kissed the pieces, and said I was a charming poet.' Half 
enraptured, I returned to Georgetown. 

"23d. Bought of Colonel J. Johnson 12,000 copies of the Almanac 
which we are printing, for $ 200. It is my intention to make a business 
for a while of selling them, and I hope to make at least $ 100. 

"27th. Mr. Guilford came over, and we adjusted our matters and 
commenced business in partnership. 

" 29th. Rode to Lexington and visited Mr. H. Clay. I found him a 
very agreeable man, and was familiarly acquainted with him in half an 
hour. It seems a great ferment is raised in Fayette as well as in Scott 
County with regard to the Compensation Bill, and Mr. Clay is likely to 
have a competitor. 

" 80th. Left Mr. Clay's and took dinner at Mrs. Breckenridge's. 
After spending three or four hours with the charming widow, returned 
to Georgetown. 

" June 4-th. There were long speeches in town to-day by the Con- 
gressional candidates. They spoke, in succession, upwards of seven 
hours. Very different opinions exist among the people ; some will sup- 
port one, some the other, and some neither. I have the most difficult 
task as editor. There has been much grumbling by one and another ; 
but none are decisively angry. I shall endeavor to keep them in this 
state of half mad and half pleased. 

" 5th. We had clients to-day for the first time since our partnership. 
One man engaged us. on a justice suit, and gave us two court actions in 
Franklin, and another gave us one suit in the circuit court of Scott. 
To-morrow I shall set out on a journey to Indiana, whence I shall not 
return under nearly a fortnight. 



A SWISS SETTLEMENT. 173 

" 6th. Set out on my journey, and rode as far as Snelson's tavern 
towards Vevay, thirty-eight miles. The road was very lonesome, there 
not being more than one house in the distance of twenty-two miles. The 
land is very poor in this direction, and can never support a dense popu- 
lation. 

" 7th. Passed on to New Fredericksburg, a town ten miles above 
Vevay on the Ohio, laid out lately by the Johnsons, — a sheer specula- 
tion. Went thence down the river to Ghent, a new town of the same 
kind of origin, opposite Vevay. My business on this route was to leave 
appointments for several postmasters, prepare for a mail, and leave sub- 
scription papers for the ' Patriot.' Passed over the river to Vevay, 
where I met my Saxon friend Fliigel, who received me with great 
cordiality. He has a charming little wife, who is considerably out 
of health. 

" 8th. Visited several of the Swiss and their vineyards, and drank 
American wine. The flavor is not so agreeable as that of the imported, 
but it has more spirit. It makes excellent sangaree. They sell it for 
$ 1.50 per gallon, whereas in Switzerland they used to get about thirty- 
three cents. They are evidently growing rich, as may be seen in 
the improvement of their houses and plantations. We saw on one of 
the plantations, a pleasant old Frenchman, nearly fifty years old, who 
nad been obliged to fly from France with his family, on the last abdica<- 
tion of Napoleon. He was formerly a professor of mathematics, in 
good circumstances ; but now, poor and an exile, with his spade and 
his rake he was making a garden on the banks of the Ohio. I was in- 
troduced to him, but not being able to speak French, or he English, we 
could have no conversation. As we approached, he came out to meet 
us, and as we departed he accompanied us away. Notwithstanding his 
situation, he seemed to be happy, and I left him with feelings of pity, 
admiration, and esteem. 

" 9th. Crossed to the Kentucky side, and walked up the river three 
miles on a visit to Mr. Agniel, a Frenchman, who married the sister of my 
friend's wife. They could all speak English, and the time passed pleas- 
antly. After dinner, the ladies visited another French family, likewise 
fugitives from the tyranny of Louis. It was that of M. Lakenal, lately 
a member of the National Institute, from which he has been removed 
by a decree of Louis. He has with him a wife and two young daugh- 
ters, who returned with the ladies to Mr. Agniel's. They were all ani- 
mation, but here again I wanted a language. It is surprising how these 
girls, in almost a wilderness, seem to be as lively, and accommodate 
themselves as well to their situation, as in the palaces of Paris. My 
friend confided to me his situation in business, which is not the most 
pleasant, though he has considerable property. There is no sale for it 



174 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

now, and he is much in debt. If his creditors were to come upon him 
he must inevitably break. On his asking my advice, I counselled him 
first to attempt to induce his creditors to take his property at a fair 
price, and if they would not, and he could not possibly raise the money, 
that he should secure it from being sacrificed under execution the best 
way he could. He had a beautiful lot on the second bank, which he 
said he had purchased for me, and wished me to come and live in 
Vevay, and take it of him at the same price he gave for it. I was so 
well pleased with its situation, and with the situation of the town, that 
I resolved to go there if I should leave Georgetown. I therefore bought 
the lot, with the privilege of relinquishing in six months. 

" 10th. Bade adieu to my friends, and left Vevay. Fltigel, with a 
sister of his wife, whom he once wrote me was reserved for me, accom- 
panied me out of town about three miles. She is a very innocent, good 
girl, but without education or beauty. Through a poor country and 
dreary road, I went on to Madison, twenty-two miles. 

" 11th. Left Madison and went to New London, — a new place laid out 
by one of that gang of villains who composed the Lexington Indiana 
Banking Company. He is now gone, and has left the people without 
titles to their lots, and they curse him soundly. In . the neighborhood 
of this place, found a man whose evidence I wanted in the land case 
which I have to manage in Scott County, and agreed with him to come* 
over. He was on the original survey. Went on thence to New Lex- 
ington, and thence to Charlestown, where I arrived about 9 p. m., hav- 
ing missed my way and found it again by mere accident. 

" 12th. Passed on through Jeffersonville to Louisville. The conven- 
tion for forming a State government in Indiana is now in session, but it 
is doubtful what course they will take. 

" 15th. Went through Versailles to Alexandria. Mr. Farnham ac- 
companied me to the latter place, unwilling, and yet willing. My 
admiration of the family there has been somewhat lessened by the du- 
plicity and want of propriety which have sometimes been used towards 
both Farnham and Guilford, who are both enthusiastically in love with 
Marianne. In fact, I was tempted not to call at all, after hearing a 
tale by Farnham, and was consequently under much constraint while 
there. Indeed, his conversation, joined with a . trifling indisposition, 
agitated me so much, that I was quite sick when I arrived, and was 
almost immediately obliged to go to bed. 

" 17th. Left Alexandria and returned to Georgetown. I have lost 
the pleasure I formerly received in visiting that charming family, and 
though I have always been received with cordiality and treated with 
politeness, I shall not often find myself there. 

" July 23d. Multiplicity of business and some vexations have almost 



POLITICS WAXING WARM. 175 

made me forget that I kept a journal. The politics of the day are the 
most prominent matters of discussion, and excite considerable warmth. 
Having a newspaper under my control, I have had much difficulty, and 
once almost quarrelled with the Johnsons, to keep it clear of personal 
abuse. A piece was sent for publication which I refused to insert ; but 
the matter passed off without any difficulty. Yet I am accused of sub- 
serviency to the Johnsons ! I shall give Richard my vote, and feel per- 
fectly inclined to be his friend, but not his tool. Though I disapprove 
of the Compensation Bill, I think it not a sufficient reason for rejecting 
him altogether. Little has been said in town until yesterday, when the 
people seemed almost universally inclined to talk, and some warmth 
arose. I came near having a quarrel with one man, and, had I been as 
warm as he, might have had a fight without any difficulty. I will not 
fight, but suspect I must prepare myself, as the man seemed very much 
inclined to insult me. 

" There was but little business done at the last Circuit Court, and we 
had but a small share of that. About a week ago a fellow was com- 
mitted here for horse stealing, and has employed us. I rode to Nelson 
County for him, to find a brother, but was unsuccessful. 

" On my way I called and spent a night at Alexandria, the most agree- 
able that I ever spent there. I spent a night with Farnham on my re- 
turn, who told me the whole story of his loves. He despises Guilford, 
who, by his account, has by his real or pretended sensibility often 
made himself ridiculous. But it is a fault which may easily be cured. 
They both love Marianne ; but Farnham has the best chance for suc- 
cess. On the 4th of July Guilford delivered an oration here, and I 
a poem. They were received with great applause, especially the oration. 
They have both been published. The day passed away in great har- 
mony, without any drunkenness or fighting. There was a ball in the 
evening, but I did not attend it on account of a headache. 

" About two months ago my friend Fliigel visited me, and persuaded 
me to lend him ninety dollars, which I could ill spare, and which I do 
not expect to get again without taking property. I was surprised that 
he should urge me so much when he knew my circumstances. 

" 30th. Politics have waxed very warm within a few days. There are 
several young men here who are very overbearing, and seem to be seeking 
occasion to quarrel with me. A few days ago I remarked an unusual 
degree of insolence, and was told by a friend that I should very likely 
get a fight upon my hands in consequence of some observation made by 
me about soldiers. It was a long time before I could recollect any- 
thing ; but at length I remembered to have said once, in a conversation 
about the Compensation Bill, when sneeringly told that a representative 
might live as a soldier, that I presumed that no gentleman present 



176 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

would be willing to live on the fare of a regular soldier. From this it 
had been circulated that I said, ' I hoped no gentleman present would 
condescend to associate with soldiers,' and gentlemen had threatened to 
insult me. I consequently thought proper to arm, and borrowed a dirk, 
with the resolution to insult no man, but if insulted to resent it, and 
if attacked, defend myself. I told my friends to contradict the story, 
and have heard nothing of it since. But to-day comes a new accusa- 
tion, namely, that, after having said that I would publish no more con- 
cerning the Compensation Bill, I have inserted pieces in favor of it, 
thereby evincing that my object was to prevent communications in favor 
of the bill. This is entirely false. I did, however, say that I did not 
intend to publish any more, and requested my correspondents to turn 
their attention to other objects. But I never made an absolute promise 
in public or private that I would publish no communication ; my ob- 
ject was to avoid receiving them from both sides. But R. P. Henry 
declined standing a poll, and in the piece which announced it took up the 
Compensation Bill. I could not refuse to insert that, and when I had 
inserted that, I could not deny a place to an answer. By this circum- 
stance our paper has been again opened upon the subject. Some gen- 
tlemen have even gone so far as to threaten to discontinue ; but I be- 
lieve they will think better of it, and change their minds. 

" We had a fight in town this morning, as a commencement of the 
election, between Dr. J. F. Henry and Samuel Theobalds. The public 
excitement is very great. 

" August 30th. I have become very irregular in my journal, in con- 
sequence of having considerable business, but shall endeavor to give a 
sketch of passing events. 

" The election passed away without any further trouble in town. Some 
gentlemen who seem resolved that I shall take a decided part in politics, 
and either defend or condemn the Johnsons in toto, still keep finding 
fault, and Drs. Ewing and Henry have discontinued their newspaper. 
Let them go, and eveiy other man who will quarrel with an editor if he 
be honest. 

" I commenced an attack on the ' Western Monitor ' some time a<*o, 
and Mr. Hunt has since answered it, and we now have it regularly. But 
having great respect for each other, we find ourselves very much re- 
stricted. 

" September 1st. I have for some time had a degree of partiality for 
Miss Anne Payne, and lately, when she was in this neighborhood, took 
considerable pains to get into her company. After her return home, 
Mr. Ford invited me to take a ride to her father's with him. I did so, 
and on the way learned with some surprise that he was very much at- 
tached to her, and was going with the express object of making a decla- 



CLOSE OF THE JOURNAL. 177 

ration. I instantly resolved to stand aside and give him every oppor- 
tunity, as he had committed so much to my honor. I therefore never 
hinted to him my own feelings, but cautiously endeavored to conceal 
them and promote his views. We stayed over night and most of the 
next day. In the evening no opportunity was offered ; but in the fore- 
noon of the next day Anne proposed a walk of a mile or more. But 
Anne Johnson, daughter of Colonel James, happening to be there, kept 
close by Anne Payne, both going and returning. They ran, jumped, 
and pulled Mr. Ford about (who is quite fleshy), evidently with the 
design of fatiguing him, and behaved so that I was disgusted, and 
thought they were making fun of him. But just as they got back, an 
opportunity was given him to say barely a word, and a word in answer, 
though entirely vague, has given him the strongest hopes. I, however, 
was so displeased with her conduct, that I left the place with very dif- 
ferent sensations from those I had when I arrived there. Good by, 
Anne ; I 11 think no more of you. 

" This day, on an invitation from Mr. Alfred Tarlton, I rode down to 
the Roman settlement in this county, and paid a visit to his cousins. I 
do not know the history of this settlement, but here are a number of 
Roman Catholic families settled together, who form a very respectable 
church. We attended meeting, but saw or heard very little but foolish 
mummery. It seems strange that people of this enlightened age can 
be pleased with such absurdity and nonsense. I paid all possible at- 
tention to the priest, but gained very little instruction or edification. 
We returned and dined with the ladies. I found I had entirely mis- 
taken the disposition of Cecilia, the eldest of these ladies. I had seen 
her last winter at Mr. Jenkins's, in town, and almost fallen in love ; but 
on being introduced to her at a ball, and attempting to converse, I was 
much disappointed." 

From this time forward Mr. Kendall ceased to keep a regular 
journal, owing in part to indolence, and in part to the engrossment 
of his time by his various occupations. The little newspaper 
which he edited needed the support of all parties in the county 
to keep it in existence, and his policy was not to identify it with 
either of them. Congress had passed an act changing the com- 
pensation of the members from a per diem of eight dollars during 
the session to an annual salary of fifteen hundred dollars, with a 
retroactive provision, by means of which each member received a 
considerable sum beyond the lawful rate of compensation when 
the services were rendered. Colonel Richard M. Johnson had in- 
troduced the bill, and it had been voted for by the entire Kentucky 
12 



178 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

delegation, with perhaps one exception. This act was seized hold 
of by political aspirants as a lever with which to operate against 
the sitting members, and its retroactive feature made it a powerful 
instrument. There was at once a general uprising of the popular 
mind against this measure, and Kentucky was in a ferment before 
the members reached home. Colonel E. M. Johnson called on Mr. 
Kendall soon after his return, and inquired what was his opinion 
and the opinion of the people. He was told that the opinion of 
the people and Mr. Kendall's opinion were against the retrospec- 
tive features of the act, and that the only safety of the members 
who voted for it was in promising to sustain its repeal. Colonel 
Johnson took the stump and made a resolute effort to justify the 
measure ; but he soon found it was all in vain. It was amusing 
to hear the Colonel, who was not an eloquent man, make a pas- 
sionate speech in favor of the measure, and conclude by promising 
to vote for its repeal, because such was the will of the people. 
While Mr. Kendall maintained a position of neutrality in the 
paper he edited, and disapproved of the Compensation Bill, he 
openly declared his purpose to vote for Colonel Johnson, on the 
ground that a man of his patriotism and usefulness ought not to 
be thrust out of public life for a single error. 

Every member of Congress from Kentucky who had voted for 
the Compensation Bill, except Colonel Johnson and Henry Clay, 
was defeated in this election, and these two were spared only upon 
their promises to vote for the repeal of the obnoxious measure. 
On the first day of the next session of Congress Colonel Johnson 
obtained leave to bring in a bill to repeal the act in question, and 
it passed with little or no discussion. 

What a contrast between the excitement of 1816 and the quiet of 
1856, after the passage of an act fixing the compensation of members 
of Congress at three thousand, instead of fifteen hundred dollars 
per annum, which also contained a retrospective provision precisely 
like that in the act of 1816. The former act produced a storm 
which revolutionized Congress ; the latter, though identical in 
principle, and involving double the amount voted by the members 
to themselves, did not produce a ripple upon the ocean of public 
opinion. The secret of this popular inconsistency may prob- 
ably be found in the fact that in 1816 the finances of the .country 
were low, and no other existing question disturbed the public 
mind; while in 1856 the government had abundant means, and 



• REMOVES TO FRANKFORT. 179 

the attention of the people was engrossed hy the slavery question 
in connection with a Presidential election. And it is not to be 
disguised that the disposition of the manufacturing and other in- 
terests of the country, which profited by the mode in which the 
public revenue was raised, was to deplete an overflowing treasury 
by extravagant and reckless expenditures, thus introducing abuses 
and corruptions into the public service, and blunting the sensibili- 
ties of the people, who, scarcely knowing that they were taxed at 
all, became indifferent as to the manner in which the public moneys 
were expended. 

During the war with Great Britain, from 1812 to 1815, all the 
banks in the South and West had suspended payment, and in aid 
of the government had issued a very large amount of their notes. 
After the close of the war they appeared to be in no haste to re- 
sume payment. The feature in Mr. Kendall's editorial career in 
Georgetown which attracted most attention was a series of articles 
in which he discussed the questions of currency, and called on the 
banks to resume specie payments. These articles won the ap- 
proval not only of the public generally, but also of the officers of 
the Bank of Kentucky, who were gentlemen of the highest in- 
tegrity and honor. 

In September, 1816, Mr. Kendall had occasion to visit Frank- 
fort, where he had some business with William Gerard, one of the 
editors of the State paper, called the " Argus of Western America." 
In their first interview, Mr. Gerard proposed to him to buy out his 
partner and undertake the editorial duties of the paper. He re- 
plied to this unexpected proposal by stating that he had no means 
of making the purchase. Mr. Gerard said that he was a director 
in the Bank of Kentucky, and would insure a loan or loans from 
the bank, which would enable him (Kendall) to meet the payments, 
which would not in all exceed two thousand dollars. Upon this 
proposal Mr. Kendall deliberated through a sleepless night, without 
coming to a conclusion. 

It was in effect a proposal to abandon all his plans of life and 
adopt a purely literary and political career. Political strife had no 
charms for him ; but just then party spirit had died away, and the 
time was called " the era of good feelings." The prospect therefore 
was, that he would be allowed to discuss principles and measures, 
and indulge his literary taste, without encountering the personality 
and asperity which had for many years characterized newspaper 



180 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

discussions. On the other hand, he had never liked the practice of 
the law, and experience thus far had not commended it to his favor. 
His leading principle was, not to undertake a case where right was 
not on the side of his client ; yet, through the representations of a 
lying thief, he once found himself engaged in successfully screen- 
ing him from payment for the goods he had stolen. He had 
learned that in the higher courts justice is often sacrificed to prece- 
dent and forms of pleading, and that the lawyers' work is rather 
a struggle for forensic triumph than an effort to protect the inno- 
cent and enforce the right. In the land suit which he had under- 
taken, and pressed to judgment in the Circuit Court, the law itself 
seemed to him a violation of moral right. The land had been 
entered by a man in Virginia who had surveyed it ; but he had 
not taken out a grant or improved it, and when he died bequeathed 
it to his sons. In the mean time it had been covered by a grant 
based upon a more recent entry, and the grantee, .being probably 
aware of the older entry, had sold it out in small tracts at a very 
low price to actual settlers, giving them quit-claim deeds. On the 
eight hundred acres of land there were about eight settlers, who 
had built log-cabins, cut down portions of the forest, and brought 
considerable tracts into cultivation. Not more than half of them 
could read ; but in concert with others in their neighborhood they 
had erected a school-house, and were trying to give their children 
an education. It was the labor of these men which had given 
the land its only value, and it seemed like robbery to take it from 
them. Yet the inexorable decree of the law did this. The hard- 
ships of the case, however, were somewhat mitigated by a compro- 
mise which Mr. Kendall advised 

These considerations inclined him to accept Mr. Gerard's propo- 
sition ; but he did not then give a definitive answer. He consulted 
his partner and friends, and all of them, except Colonels James 
and Eichard M. Johnson, advised him to accept the proposal. The 
Johnsons made a resolute effort to dissuade him from the purchase ; 
but their known motive rendered their representations of little 
weight. They had quarrelled with Mr. Gerard, and were engaged 
in an attempt to break down his paper. They had thrown all their 
influence in favor of another newspaper in Frankfort, called " The 
Palladium," and had even obtained a promise from Mr. Kendall 
to write for it, before he was aware of their motives. Though he 
was the friend of the Johnsons, who had served their country 



THE ARGUS OF WESTERN AMERICA. igl 

bravely in war, and were public-spirited in peace, lie had main- 
tained his own independence, and had not sympathized with 
their personal antipathies. He therefore listened respectfully to 
all they had to say, and then concluded to make the purchase. 

On the 30th of September, 1816, he visited Frankfort and closed 
the bargain, agreeing to give $2,000 for half of the establishment, 
the amount being payable, one thousand on the first day of the 
succeeding November, and one thousand in one year thereafter. 

Returning to Georgetown, he dissolved his partnership with Mr, 
Guilford, who determined to remove to Cincinnati. Mr. Miller, 
in whose favor he was bound to resign the post-office, if he 
resigned at all within a certain period, was dead, leaving a widow. 
Though he was under no obligation to do so, Mr. Kendall, having 
resigned in favor of another party for a consideration, paid the 
widow the amount he had agreed to pay her husband if he retained 
the office. The new postmaster, who had agreed to give two hun- 
dred dollars for the office, sold it not long afterwards to another 
person for five hundred. Though Mr. Kendall did not acquire the 
office for any purpose of speculation, intending to hold it per- 
manently, he was never satisfied with himself for his participation 
in these transactions, and made up his mind that, if not corrupt, 
they constituted an abuse which the government ought not to toler- 
ate. Yet these transfers of the post-office in Georgetown were 
effected through the agency of Colonel R. M. Johnson, then a 
member of Congress, who well knew their character. 

The administration of the Post-Office Department at that time 
was extremely lax. Mr. Kendall found that no way-bills came to 
his office charging him with postage on any newspapers printed in 
Kentucky. Mentioning the fact to the former postmaster, he was 
told that bills would come embracing the whole quarter, at its 
close ; but none came. Mr. Kendall then made out his account 
charging himself with the newspaper postage as accurately as he 
could, and wrote to the Postmaster-General stating the facts. No 
answer was received, and no remedy applied, and it is believed that 
very little of the newspaper postage collected in Kentucky at that 
time was ever accounted for. 

After Mr. Kendall resigned, he forwarded an account showing the 
amount due from him to the Department, which was drawn for and 
paid. Long afterwards there came another draft upon him for the 
same amount, which was protested with an explanation, and thus 
the matter ended. 



182 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

Mr. Kendall parted with his friend and partner, Nathan Guil- 
ford, with much regret. He was a man of very respectable 
talents, great kindness of heart, and marked simplicity of manners 
and language. Yet he was an inveterate deist, and appeared to 
entertain a perfect hatred of Christianity. On that subject there 
was no congeniality between the partners. Failing to make any 
impression upon Guilford by demanding what substitute he could 
furnish for human hope to rest upon, and warning him of the evil 
consequences to himself which would assuredly follow the public 
avowal of his opinions, Mr. Kendall begged and secured his silence 
on that topic. In after life, however, Mr. Guilford's prudence for- 
sook him, and he paid the penalty of his folly. He took up the 
subject of common schools in Ohio, was elected to the legislature 
from Cincinnati, and procured the passage of an act embodying 
the original school system of that State. He was placed at the 
head of the Cincinnati schools, and a question arising as to the 
reading of the Bible therein, he gave free expression to his infidel 
opinions, which indiscretion not only deprived him of his office, 
but permanently impaired his influence and usefulness. 

Mr. Guilford's marriage is directly traceable to his benevolence, 
which was one of his striking characteristics. He heard that there 
was a flatboat at the landing, on which was a family of emigrants 
sick with fever. He visited them, procured lodging for them in the 
city, and carefully attended upon them until their recovery. One 
of the sick was a beautiful young girl, who became his wife. And 
she was not unworthy of his love. When disappointments and mis- 
fortunes, operating upon a disposition naturally gloomy and a mind 
unsustained by any religious hope, had discouraged and reduced him 
almost to imbecility, she maintained her firmness and discharged 
her duties with admirable cheerfulness through all vicissitudes. 

The following are extracts from a narrative written by Mr. Ken- 
dall soon after the occurrence of the events which it records : — 

" About the middle of October I left Georgetown and came to Frank- 
fort. Previous to this eveDt, George Madison, who had been unani- 
mously elected governor of this State, died, and the administration had 
devolved on Gabriel Slaughter, the lieutenant-governor. As I was 
on my way there, I amused myself by imagining what a peaceable 
and happy time I should have in Frankfort. There was little party 
spirit in the State ; all was quiet and harmonious. I had anonymously 
in the ' Argus ' commenced an attack on the editor of the ' Western 



EDITORIAL DEBUT. 183 

Monitor,' -which I intended to continue, as well for amusement as in 
support of the Republican party, which had suffered much in this State 
by the course which their leaders had taken with respect to the ' Com- 
pensation Bill.' Indulging in these reveries, I met Ben Taylor on the 
top of the hill above Frankfort, who told me the acting governor had 
appointed John Pope as his secretary. I was thunderstruck. I consid- 
ered Pope the leader of the Federalists, and instantly foresaw a struggle 
between the parties which must end in the exaltation of the Federalists, 
or in the prostration of themselves and their leader. At that time I 
had not a thought of the course which affairs have since taken, but ex- 
pected the contest would last for four years. I knew that much was 
expected from me by the Republicans, and both my interest and inclina- 
tion gave me an instant resolution to take a decided stand against this 
act of the acting governor. As soon as I came into town, Mr. Gerard 
wished to know what course I thought we ought to pursue. I told him 
we had only one course to take, which must be anti-administration. 
After conversing with Mr. Bibb, we determined to publish whatever 
should be offered on both sides, and as soon as communications were 
offered in defence of the appointment, to express our own opinion. The 
lieutenant-governor was extremely anxious to prevent the papers in 
Frankfort from discussing the subject, and for that purpose held several 
private conversations with Mr. Gerard and the editor of the ' Palla- 
dium ' ; but it was in vain. They were inflexible. This act of the old 
man gave me a great contempt for him at the start. It was in itself 
mean and improper, and beneath the dignity of his office. 

" On the 1st of November, 1816, I came out in a public address as 
co-editor of the ' Argus.' All parties were pleased with my address, 
and extolled me extravagantly. I received much attention from John 
J. Marshall and John Pope ; but I thought it interested and felt under 
no obligations. Because a quarrel was then existing between Mr. Gerard 
and the Johnsons, and because I had disapproved of the Compensation 
Bill, it was thought and asserted, that we would support Mr. Pope. I 
could not help smiling to see men who ought to know better, expect that 
we would yield our political principles to a little personal dispute. 
Those men soon found their civilities useless, and entirely discontinued 
them. 

" Before I came to Frankfort, as I have before mentioned, a contro- 
versy had arisen between Colonel James Johnson and Mr. Gerard, on 
account of some expressions of Gerard with respect to Richard M. John- 
son, both in conversation and in the ' Argus.' Gerard was the personal 
friend of Ben Taylor (who had run against Colonel R. M. Johnson for 
Congress), and though he intended voting for Johnson at the commence- 
ment of the electioneering contest,, yet on hearing Johnson abuse Tay- 



184 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

lor, as he thought improperly, changed his mind and voted for neither. 
The controversy was carried on in the ' Palladium ' and ' Argus,' and with 
some warmth. The original of the first piece was written by myself at 
the request of Johnson, who suggested to me all the ideas ; but when 
published it was in a shape which I entirely disowned. When I became 
an editor of the ' Argus,' I made the parties mutually agree that this 
controversy should cease. However, one piece appeared from Colonel 
Johnson which irritated Gerard and offended me. Gerard was eager 
for answering, but I dissuaded him from it, representing that it was 
giving our enemies an advantage at our expense, and that, as Republi- 
cans of the same principles, we ought by all means to put an end to the 
controversy. I could not, however, persuade him to forego the satis- 
faction of answering until I promised, if the attack were repeated, to 
take up the pen myself and endeavor to make them smart for it. 
Happily, however, nothing further was said on the subject. The ' Re- 
porter,' at Lexington, which had all the feelings of Johnson, compli- 
mented me at the expense of Gerard, "uy expressing a hope that the 
' Argus ' would now retrieve itself from its doubtful character. I, how- 
ever, answered that I did not receive the compliment with any pleasure, 
on account of the pitiful slander it contained against my brother editor. 
The writer of the compliment made an angry reply, and there it ended. 

" The appointment of secretary was so generally disapproved by the 
people, that it was thought the Senate might be induced to reject it. 
On expressing some inclination to write on the subject, Mr. Gerard sug- 
gested to me that several numbers addressed to the Senators might 
probably have considerable effect. I accordingly commenced and wrote 
several numbers signed ' Cato,' which were quoted into many of the 
Kentucky papers. George Adams was at the same time writing articles 
over the signature of 'Montgomery,' addressed to the lieutenant-gov- 
ernor. I did not approve of the violence of his pieces, but would not 
object to their publication. They were answered by a writer under the 
name of ' Atticus,' and Adams replied in communications signed ' Snolus 
Bolus,' which I mostly wrote over, and in which I made some altera- 
tions. These pieces were vulgar, but contained some wit. 

" If the nomination had been laid before the Senate when they first 
met, it is believed that body would have been divided more equally or 
have rejected it altogether. But it -was delayed for several weeks, until 
Mr. Hunt could have time to electioneer and explain his conduct, so that 
every weak head (and there were many of them in the Senate) might 
be influenced to support him. It has since been ascertained that he 
wrote letters to gentlemen in the various counties, urging them to use 
their influence with the people to make his appointment popular, and 
with the Senators to procure a confirmation. Much pains was taken to 



POLITICAL CONTROVERSIES. 185 

represent the appointment as popular, and many of the Senators were 
doubtless deceived even with respect to their own districts. The ap- 
pointment was confirmed, twenty-two to eleven. 

" Before I came to Frankfort, I had addressed to Hunt, the editor of 
the ' Western Monitor,' an anonymous letter in the ' Argus,' signed 
' Derius.' He suspected me, as was apparent in his answer, and in my 
reply I gave him leave to publish my name. He did so, and we carried 
on a coutroversy in our own proper names, until it ended, as such con- 
troversies generally do, in personal invective. We had been very 
friendly ; but this broke our friendship, and though we have since met, 
it has been without cordiality. Yet many suspicious persons believed, 
or affected to believe, that we perfectly understood each other, and 
were quarrelling just for amusement ! Unluckily, we were both Yankees, 
who are in this country a suspected people, and have to suffer for the 
follies of much worse men. ■> In the contest with Hunt, I was accused 
of violence ; but I was more guilty of vanity. The Federalists thought 
that Hunt oould write me down ; but, I believe, it was generally 
agreed that I had the best of the fight. 

" The next editor with whom I came in contact was Doctor Anthony 
Hunn of Harrodsburg. He is a man of some talent, little education, 
and a great deal of vanity. He assailed me by a letter directed to me 
personally in his paper. I made some inquiries concerning him, and 
finding that he was more of ax villain than a writer, I turned an anecdote 
concerning him into poetry, to the tune of ' Yankee Doodle,' which 
raised a great laugh upon him, and silenced him for a time. 

" My next controversy was with a paper which was established last 
winter in Frankfort. (As soon as it was found that neither the ' Argus ' 
nor ' Palladium ' was friendly to Mr. Pope, a third paper was established 
here under the name of the ' Commentator,' by Moses 0. Bledsoe. 
This man had been a partner of Mr. Gerard for a short time, was after- 
wards married to a lady of some fortune, dissipated it all, and now, 
under the auspices and by the assistance of Mr. Pope and his friends, 
established this paper, in conducting which he took the message of the 
lieutenant-governor to the last legislature for his creed. We well knew 
that the great object of this establishment was our injury. Neverthe- 
less, it was a considerable time before we took any notice of it. They 
procured Mann Butler, from Louisville, to write for it, and affected a 
character for conciliation and moderation. Soon after Butler came into 
the establishment he made an attack on the ' Argus,' and we retaliated 
by giving an account of the origin of the paper and the views of its 
friends, called it a hireling press, and Butler a hired writer. The con- 
sequence was an attack by Bledsoe on Mr. Gerard with a stick. No 
mischief was done, and as they gave no satisfactory answer, we repeated 



186 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

the charge, and kept up our fire. Butler's Dame did not appear in the 
paper ; but as we knew he was a man unable to bear it, from extreme 
sensitiveness, all our observations were aimed at him by name. As We 
anticipated, he could not bear it ; his friends were dissatisfied with him, 
and he with them, so that he concluded to quit the paper. He has 
since changed sides entirely ; told me that he found there was more 
rancor in the no-party men than in us, and that he had reason to believe 
that what we had said of the ' Commentator ' was true. He, however, 
declared with respect to himself, that he knew only Bledsoe in the bar- 
gain which he had made, and I believe he told the truth. He is a man 
of the best intentions, but easily deceived. 

" At the commencement of the session of the general assembly last 
winter, I asked leave to take a seat in the House and report the speeches 
and proceedings. Leave was readily granted, and I continued to do it 
throughout the session. With the exception of two or three members, 
whose speeches, it was said, were much better as reported by me than as 
spoken by themselves, all the members of the House were not only satis- 
fied, but pleased. It was not only gratifying to the members themselves, 
because it flattered them, but was very acceptable to the people. It gave 
an importance to our paper which brought it many subscribers, and made 
the representatives in some measure dependent on me. We were elected 
public printers without opposition, and with the exception of the attack 
by Bledsoe on Gerard, the winter passed away in tolerable quiet. 

" Soon after I came to Frankfort a question arose whether or not the 
Constitution of the State required or authorized an election of governor 
to supply the place of George Madison. If I remember right it was 
mentioned to me first by Colonel Charles S. Todd, the secretary of 
Madison, who had been displaced by Slaughter to make room for Pope. 
He gave no opinion, but asked mine. The question then presented was, 
whether at the next annual election in August, another governor should 
be chosen to remain in office for the balance of the term for which Madi- 
son had been elected. I turned to the Constitution, and gave my 
opinion decidedly in the negative. I, however, drew up a list of reasons, 
both for and against a new election, and published them in the ' Argus,' 
without giving to the public any opinion. Little more was said on the 
subject until about the middle of the session of the general assembly, 
when Matthew Lyon, a man without political principle or honesty, ad- 
dressed a few essays to the people on the subject. He is said to have 
been induced to this measure by some of his acquaintances in Lexing- 
ton who told him he had been suspected of being a Federalist, and 
must redeem his character. These essays excited conversation, and 
some time after their publication, Mr. Mills introduced a resolution 
into the House of Representatives, providing for the raising of a com- 



A NOTABLE DEBATE. 187 

mittee for the purpose of inquiring into the constitutionality of a 
new election. This resolution was lost by a majority of only six. 
The friends of a new election were surprised at so great a vote 
in favor of it, and resolved to try their strength in a more formal 
manner. The people of Lexington were generally in favor of a new 
election; but their most efficient representative, Joseph C. Brecken- 
ridge, was opposed to it. Some of them, however, made him a visit, 
and he consented to bring the measure forward again. I had fre- 
quently heard him express an opposite opinion, and was astonished at 
his course, as I saw no reason for a change of sentiment. How he over- 
came his scruples I know not ; but he asked leave to bring in a bill to 
provide for a new election of governor, and made a considerable display 
of learning, if not of eloquence, in its defence. The debate continued 
for the best part of three days. Breckenridge and Crittenden (John J.) 
were the principal advocates of the measure. Mills, to the astonish- 
ment of everybody, was in opposition, and said his only motive for in- 
troducing the subject before was to get an able report against it, which 
should go to the people and put down essays from abroad. The motive 
was an unworthy one, and the apparent duplicity of Mr. Mills's conduct 
on this occasion has effectually ruined his political influence. Thus by 
one imprudent step is the popularity founded on years of faithful ser- 
vices swept away in a moment. It now appeared 'that an immense 
majority were against a new election; the vote stood twenty-six to 
sixty-one, and the Senate immediately concurred without debate, three 
to twenty-one. My opinion coincided with that of the majority, but 
my feelings were all with the minority, among whom were my best per- 
sonal friends. I reported the debate, and soon after the close of the 
session commenced its publication, with the intention of taking no part 
in the controversy. Gerard was in favor of the measure, and wished to 
come out on that side of it ; but was restrained by me. At length, the 
decision of the same question by the legislature of New York, in a case 
precisely similar was received, which led me to an investigation. They 
provided for a new election both of governor and lieutenant-governor 
for a new term of four years. On examining the two Constitutions, I 
was surprised at the coincidence between them with respect to the 
executive department. About this time Mr. Bibb gave his opinion with 
his reasons, and directed my attention' to the Constitution and a law of 
the United States by which a new election had been authorized on no 
better authority than was given in our Constitution. I now determined 
to write out the arguments, pro and con, and compare them together. 
I began with the pros, and when I came to the cons I could not think 
of any which would balance the weight of the pros. The latter, there- 
fore, preponderated, and I formed an opinion in favor of an election of 



188 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

governor and lieutenant-governor for a new term of four years. What 
influence dislike for Pope and Slaughter may have had on my mind I 
cannot tell ; but I am sure that if it had any it was unconsciously. 
The question now was, What shall be done 1 A large majority of the 
State were doubtless of a different opinion. They might attribute our 
course to a dislike for men. Should we come out and strenuously advo- 
cate a new election, we would attack the decision of the legislature, and 
run the risk of losing not only the public work, but the support of the 
people. We did not, however, long hesitate; but determined to risk 
everything. I took up my pen and wrote a long argument before we 
commenced the publication. I took measures, by writing to several in- 
dividuals, to have my articles republished throughout the State ; for 
to us the contest was neck or nothing. On the 11th of April we began 
the publication, and continued it in five successive numbers. It drew to 
our paper several subscribers, but seemed at first to make but little 
noise. It was not long, however, before I heard that the friends of a 
new election throughout the country were taking that ground. The 
' Commentator ' here, which had abused and insulted us for our hypoc- 
risy in not coming out on this question, found itself utterly unable to 
support the contest. The ' Western Monitor ' said but little. My arti- 
cles were republished in several papers, and generally read. Seeing no 
answer, doubting the event, and having nothing more to say, I was 
about to drop the discussion, when a writer in the ' Commentator,' under 
the name of ' Plain Truth,' undertook to answer my articles. I copied 
his articles into the 'Argus,' and immediately after each article sub- 
joined a reply under the name of ' Plainer Truth.' This was happily 
managed, and produced considerable effect. I began now to hear of 
some agitation in various counties, and of candidates coming out upon 
this question. Mr. Bibb came out publicly and harangued the people 
of Franklin ; Jesse Bledsoe addressed a letter to the public, and became 
a candidate ; the papers at Lexington assumed the same ground that I 
had taken, and William T. Barry came out in that county as a candidate 
for the Senate. The adherents of the lieutenant-governor, finding the 
proposed measure rapidly gaining ground throughout the State, re- 
doubled their exertions, and published a pamphlet called ' The Consti- 
tutionalist,' signed ' A Kentuckian,' and written by George Robinson, 
Esq., afterwards a representative in Congress. My original plan for 
managing the controversy was, that after we had published two num- 
bers, Mr. Bibb should come out in the ' Argus,' signing his own proper 
name, which was always his custom, and that after the conclusion the 
whole should be printed in a pamphlet. My object was to attract atten- 
tion, by the weight of his name, before the publication of my third arti- 
cle, which was much the most important, and to follow up the effect of 



POLITICAL TRIUMPH. 189 

newspaper writing with a pamphlet circulated liberally throughout all 
the counties in the State. But Mr. Bibb, though he had promised, was 
too indolent to write, and there was nobody to pay the expense of the 
pamphlets. But as soon as ' The Constitutionalist ' appeared, the 
Democrats were eager to have a pamphlet in reply, and gave assurances 
of a liberal contribution. I therefore took up the pen. Many new 
ideas having been suggested in the discussion, I abandoned the track of 
my first argument and struck out a new course. In three days I pro- 
duced a pamphlet of thirty-nine pages, which, at the suggestion of 
Colonel C. S. Todd, I called ' Free Suffrage.' The rough draft, with a 
little correction, without writing over, except about two pages at the end 
of the ' conclusion,' was sent to the press, and in a few days we struck 
off five thousand copies. This was a timely measure. The influence 
of ' The Constitutionalist ' was considerable, and the current of public 
opinion in some counties evidently changing. But ' Free Suffrage,' 
which I took good care myself to distribute in every direction, soon 
changed the current and made it set more strongly than ever in favor 
of a new election. The contest was still maintained in the papers, and 
' Plainer Truth ' being too much for ' Plain Truth,' another writer came 
out in the ' Commentator ' under the name of ' Truth.' This was 
Humphrey Marshall, famous in the politics of Kentucky, and a masterly 
hand at misrepresentation and abuse. His article contained only these 
two qualities, and was aimed at me too plainly to be misunderstood. 
He called me everything, and among the rest a knave or a fool. I then 
answered him under the name of ' A Fool,' pointed out who he was, etc., 
etc. He then gave a ludicrous description of me, which was laughable 
for its absurdity, to which I never replied. 

" Everything was going on in a favorable train, but as if Heaven had 
really made mad those whom it intended to destroy, Mr. Pope under- 
took the writing of letters to various individuals to ' save the Constitu- 
tion,' as he called it, or, in other words, to save himself. Among the 
rest he wrote to Charles H. Allen, a candidate in Henry County, wishing 
him to decline if Edward George of that county would offer, pronoun- 
cing the new election scheme ' wicked,' inviting him to patronize the 
' Commentator,' which he called ' a very good paper,' telling him he 
'would have no reason to regret it,' and concluding with the statement 
that he might 'be assured of his good will.' But the secretary mistook 
his man. Mr. Allen, though at first opposed to a new election, had 
changed his mind. Being questioned with respect to this letter, he 
showed it, and sent it to me for publication. I accompanied it with 
severe remarks, calculated to rouse the people, and show them the con- 
sequences of executive interference in their elections. The secretary 
was in a rage, and immediately replied by a hand-bill. In this he prom- 



190 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

ised to address the people again before the election, and after that event 
to give them some account of his political conduct. This was a hasty 
and passionate piece of composition, in which he exposed himself to 
ridicule, which was so liberally bestowed in the next ' Argus ' that he 
has been silent ever since. This man has effected much by private 
letters ; but now he was caught in his own snare. His hand-bill was 
received with general indignation. His enemies pronounced it corrupt, 
and his friends imprudent. Scarcely anybody justified him except the 
newspapers which were in his interest. 

" Notwithstanding all this, I had some fears with respect to the event. 
Accounts from the Green River section were contradictory ; but the 
general impression was that a majority was opposed to the new election. 
In the middle section, a majority was on that side beyond a doubt. On 
the north side of the Kentucky, we were sure of a considerable majority. 
For myself, I was afraid that the majority in the House of Representa- 
tives would be too small to be overwhelming ; that the Senate would 
oppose, and the question be lost. In that event, I should have regretted 
that I had ever taken it up. In Franklin County our prospect was 
rather doubtful. Mr. Bibb and C. S. Todd were our candidates. They 
were opposed by John J. Marshall and Richard Taylor. Marshall's 
friends were sanguine for him, but had no hopes of Taylor's election. 
Thinking their favorite strong enough to out-poll anybody, and pre- 
ferring Colonel Todd to Mr. Bibb, because he has less talents and in- 
fluence, they electioneered for Marshall and Todd. They did not see 
their error till it was too late to retreat. After a warm struggle during 
the three days of election, we beat them by a considerable majority, and 
triumphantly elected Bibb and Todd. On the evening of the close of 
the election, a multitude of our friends collected at Mrs. Price's, where 
they raised Bibb, Todd, and a number of others, among whom was my- 
self, on their shoulders, and carried us around the room. 

" We soon heard that the new election candidates had succeeded in 
every county except one on the north side of the Kentucky, in several 
of the middle counties, and almost \iniversally in the Green River 
country, insuring to our party an overwhelming majority in the next 
House of Representatives. In April Mr. Gerard, either from fear of 
the event of the controversy in which we were engaged, or because he 
really wished to quit printing, proposed to sell out his part of the 
' Argus ' office and retire to the country." 

It is natural that men born in the same country, though per- 
fect strangers to each other, meeting in a distant land, should be 
predisposed to become friends. It was thus that Mr. Kendall had 
become the friend of John H. Farnham, while the one lived in the 



A VINDICTIVE CONTROVERSY. 1Q1 

family of Mr. Clay, and the other in the family of Mr. Alexander. 
About the time that Mr. Kendall settled in Georgetown, Mr Farn- 
ham began the practice of the law in Versailles. After the former 
removed to Frankfort Farnham visited him, and stated that, seeing 
no prospect of getting a living by his profession, he was desirous 
of getting a school for the present. Mr. Kendall then boarded 
with his partner, Mr. Gerard, in whose house he occupied a room. 
He entered- warmly into Mr. Farnham's views, and offered, if he 
would come to Frankfort, to share his room and bed with him, and 
to get his partner to board him, and take in payment the instruc- 
tion of his children. Under this arrangement Farnham came to 
Frankfort, and established a respectable school. 

Farnham was a Federalist in politics, and sympathized with Mr. 
Pope and the lieutenant-governor. These circumstances would 
have been disregarded had he confined himself to the business of 
his school, or uttered his opinions with deference to those of 
others. But his manner was loud and confident ; he indulged 
freely in sarcasm, and had a broad, meaning laugh, which was very 
irritating. Worse than all, he would spend long evenings with Mr. 
Pope, and without seeming to feel that there was any breach of 
honor in it, would detail to the editors of the " Argus " his private 
political conversations. Believing that a man who would fetch 
would carry also, especially as his avowed sympathies were with 
their adversaries, Mr. Gerard and Mr. Kendall became very re- 
served in their conversation with him. Finally, Mr. Gerard be- 
came so disgusted with his rude and ungentlemanly manners that 
he requested him to find board elsewhere. Though Mr. Kendall 
had found him a most disagreeable room-mate, who seemed to have 
no care for anybody's comfort but his own, he never had any alter- 
cation with him, and apparently they parted friends. Not long 
afterwards, a rumor was in circulation that Mr. Farnham was to 
become the editor of the " Commentator." This was more than 
confirmed by letters from the Green Eiver country, where he was 
making a political tour, detailing his conversations, the leading 
feature of which was, that on his return to Frankfort he would 
become editor of the "Commentator," and "knew enough about Mr. 
Kendall to write him dozen." Thus forewarned, Mr. Kendall, know- 
ing that a vindictive controversy with his old friend was impend- 
ing, determined to bring it to an issue as soon as possible. 

In his first article Mr. Farnham assailed the "Argus," charging 



192 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

it with malignity and falsehood in its course toward the " Com- 
mentator." The "Argus'' retorted by giving the history of the 
" Commentator," alleged that it was established to promote objects 
of personal ambition ; that Mr. Farnham's politics were of the 
Federal stamp, and that he was an hireling editor who had sold bis 
talents to the ambitious men who had established that paper. In 
his reply, he said all this " came with an ill grace from one who 
was hired to write for the ' Minerva Press ' and Georgetown ' Pa- 
triot,' and bad now sold his pen to a printer in this town (Frank- 
fort) for a fixed salary." Farnham very well knew that Mr. Ken- 
dall was a co-proprietor of the "Minerva Press" and the "Argus," 
and in the case of the latter Farnham was one of those who had 
advised the purchase. The "Argus" and "Commentator" were 
both weekly papers, published on the same day ; but the issue of 
the latter containing these allegations was circulated before the 
former was ready for the press. To bring the matter to an issue at 
once, Mr. Kendall inserted a paragraph in the " Argus " declaring 
the first and last points made in Mr. Farnham's article " base and 
wilful falsehoods." This blunt and decisive contradiction, circulated 
within an hour or two after the publication of his own paper, en- 
raged Mr. Farnham, who publicly announced his purpose to de- 
mand personal satisfaction. Mr. Kendall was soon advised of the 
threat, and being far Mr. Farnham's inferior in size and strength, 
he procured a dirk and placed it in his bosom. His office opened 
upon the street, and he was sitting at a table directing newspapers, 
when Mr. Farnham entered. He rose as Farnham approached, 
when the latter invited him to go into the street, saying that he 
desired some conversation with him. There were two journeymen 
at work in the office, and Mr. Kendall replied that he preferred 
that there should be witnesses to their conversation, bidding him 
to proceed with what he had to say. Farnham then said he wished 
Kendall to go out of his own premises, and invited him to go into 
a bookstore a few rods distant. To this proposition Kendall as- 
sented, and they left together for the bookstore. On their way 
Mr. Kendall observed Bledsoe and others of Farnham's partisans 
near at hand, their presence indicating a conspiracy to beat him, 
and repented that he had left his own office ; but he deemed it 
inexpedient to retreat. In the bookstore Mr. Farnham began 
to interrogate Mr. Kendall, who answered somewhat at length, 
to gain time for the arrival of his friends, who had now begun to 



A PERSONAL ENCOUNTER. 193 

flock in. At length Farnham came to a pause, evidently showing 
that he had the worst of the conversation, and began to falter in 
his purpose. Suddenly, however, he exclaimed that he had been 
charged with falsehood, and would not stand it, at the same time 
striking at Mr. Kendall with his fist. There was an instant rush 
upon them, which nearly threw them down. As he rose, Mr. Ken- 
dall drew the dirk from his bosom, but had no chance to use it. 
Farnham, when the rush was made, had sprung upon the counter, 
with the view of escaping into the counting-room ; but Mr. Gerard, 
seizing his coat-tail, drew him violently back upon the floor and 
sprung upon him. Bledsoe, attempting to interfere, was taken in 
hand by the keeper of the bookstore, so that two fights were going 
on while Mr. Kendall, the cause of all the turmoil, was looking 
on with a dirk in his right hand. The melie lasted but a moment. 
Gerard had taken a large dirk from Farnham's bosom, and he 
raised it as if intending to thrust it through his body, when Ken- 
dall rushed forward and wrenched the weapon away, cutting his 
own fingers in the operation. He then had a dirk in each hand, 
but made no use of them. 

The combatants having separated, it appeared that nobody was 
seriously injured except Mr. Farnham. One of his shoulders was 
dislocated by his fall from the counter, and his eyes were badly 
gouged by Mr. Gerard. The only hurt received by Mr. Kendall 
was a slight scratch in the face. 

In his next paper Mr. Farnham repeated his false statements, 
and pretended to have evidence of their truth in Mr. Kendall's 
private letters. Mr. Kendall asked leave to take copies of those 
letters, which was refused. He then announced the refusal, de- 
clared there could be no such evidence in the letters, as no such 
facts ever existed, and challenged Farnham to publish them. The 
latter published a few extracts torn from their context, and put 
upon them false constructions, which were dissipated by a few words 
of explanation. He was denounced for using private letters, written 
in the freedom and confidence of youthful friendship, and at the 
same time defied to publish them entire, as the best refutation of 
his own charges. 

At length he announced in the " Commentator " that any person 
could see the letters by calling at his room. Though Mr. Kendall 
knew what he had not said in the letters touching the matters under 
discussion, he did not remember what he had said about other mat- 

13 



194 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

ters. At his request a friend of his called and read the whole 
series, and reported that they contained nothing which could do 
the writer any harm, while they did contain that which would 
sxibjeet Farnham to universal contempt. He had made Mr. Ken- 
dall a confidant in his love affair with Miss Alexander, and that 
was one of the subjects treated of in this correspondence in the 
lightest and freest manner. 

In the mean time Farnham continued to abuse Mr. Kendall in 
the " Commentator," in language which the latter did not care to 
employ in his own columns ; but finding that the continued attacks 
were producing some effect upon a certain class of readers, he re- 
sorted to the expedient of retorting in letters addressed to his 
assailant by name, printed in handbills, and enclosed with their 
papers to all the subscribers of the " Argus." These letters were 
marvellous specimens of ridicule and blackguardism ; but they had 
their effect. The upshot was, that Mr. Farnham incurred the con- 
tempt of his own political friends as well as enemies ; was expelled 
from the Masonic lodge of which he was a member, compelled to 
abandon his editorial position, and, in effect, was driven from the 
State of Kentucky. 

It is not often that men can be found so utterly destitute of 
gratitude, delicacy, and honor as was John H. Farnham. After 
the battle was over, and he had fled to Indiana, Mr. Kendall being 
at Cincinnati, was offered by his friend Guilford a letter from 
Farnham to him, in which the latter had asked him for any facts 
within his knowledge which he could use to Kendall's detriment. 
Mr. Kendall declined to accept the letter, or even to read it. In 
after years he had become a Mason, and twice Masons came to 
him, probably at Farnham's instance, and proposed a reconciliation. 
His answer was, in substance, that when a man had wronged him 
through misinformation, mistake, or in a passion, he could forgive 
him and become his friend ; but the deliberate attack of this man 
upon his intimate friend, and the means resorted to by him pend- 
ing the controversy, proved him to be rotten at the heart. He had 
no feeling which would induce him to pursue the fugitive beyond 
the Ohio for the purpose of doing him an injury, but no friendly 
relation could ever exist between them. 

In July, 1817, a concerted effort was made to injure the 
" Argus," on account of the course it was pursuing in relation to 
Mr. Pope and a new election, by inducing its subscribers to dis- 



BLEDSOE'S ATTACK, AND ITS RESULT. 195 

continue their papers. A batch of twenty in Shelby County dis- 
continued at the same time. Mr. Kendall wrote to some of his 
friends in Lexington informing them what was going on and in- 
voking their active support. His letter appeared to be misunder- 
stood ; for the gentleman to whom it was addressed called a few 
days afterwards and offered him five hundred dollars in cash, which 
offer he at once declined, stating that the only assistance he could 
accept was through a bond fide increase of his subscription-list. 
He knew not how the money was to be raised, or who was to con- 
tribute it ; but his object in rejecting it was the maintenance of his 
entire independence of all pecuniary obligations in his editorial 
career. As soon as the concerted movement against his paper 
became generally known, he received four or five new subscribers 
for every one lost. 

In reviewing the contest in 1817, after the election, the " Argus " 
spoke of the " Commentator " as " a corrupt Federal press, estab- 
lished for our destruction," etc. Soon after that number of the 
"Argus" which contained these words was issued Mr. Kendall 
was passing from his lodgings to his office, which were but a few 
yards apart, bareheaded, with an inkstand in his hand, when he 
met Bledsoe, who, without saying a word, knocked or pushed him 
down, and when he attempted to rise repeated the operation 
several times before he was arrested. Mr. Kendall was unarmed, 
and his assailant possessed twice his physical strength. It was 
remarkable that, with the exception of a slight soreness in the 
chest from a blow, the former was not hurt in the least, 

A few days afterward, being on a visit to Scott County, he men- 
tioned to Colonel James Johnson Bledsoe's attack and its result. 
The Colonel remarked that Bledsoe was not satisfied, and would 
certainly repeat the attack. On learning that Mr. Kendall did not 
carry arms, he induced him to accept a small pocket pistol, then 
out of order and having no flint in it, with the view of having it 
repaired and carrying it in his pocket. On Mr. Kendall's return, 
about three miles from Frankfort, in a lonely part of the road, he 
saw Bledsoe with a friend, both mounted, coming to meet him. As 
they approached he saw Bledsoe change positions with his friend, 
for the evident purpose of coming within striking distance ; but 
affected to take no notice of the movement. The horses were so 
near each other that their necks lapped, when both parties raised 
their whips, Bledsoe exclaiming "Don't you deserve a damned 



196 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

whipping, you infernal rascal," and both struck. Startled by the 
noise of the whips, the horses shot by each other, and Mr. Kendall, 
looking back, saw that Bledsoe was wheeling his horse for the evi- 
dent purpose of renewing the attack, when thrusting one hand in 
his pocket, by a sudden jerk with the other he wheeled his own 
horse, exclaiming, " I will give you a damned shooting, you infernal 
rascal." Bledsoe sheered off, and rode on. 

The thought that a man of twice his strength, accompanied by 
another bully, should thus attempt to intercept and beat him on 
the highway, so exasperated Mr. Kendall, that for half a mile he 
was resolved that as soon as he got to town he would put his pis- 
tol in order and shoot Bledsoe on his return. But it then occurred 
to him that it would be a more satisfactory revenge to tell the story 
immediately on his arrival, showing his weapon, and thus prepar- 
ing everybody to laugh at Bledsoe for running away from a dis- 
abled and empty pistol. The cowardly attack and the inglorious 
flight went far to destroy whatever respect the public had for 
Moses 0. Bledsoe, and finally he also abandoned the " Commenta- 
tor " and left the State. 

The following is Mr. Kendall's opinion of himself, as deduced 
from these personal rencounters, and written down soon after- 
wards : — 

" So far as these affairs have enabled me to know myself, my opinion 
is that I have not so much of the daring in me as some men, but that I 
have nothing of cowardice. I have not felt intimidated at the time of 
the attacks nor lost my presence of mind, and the most I fear from a 
repetition of them is the necessity of killing him. I would rather dis- 
arm and take a whipping, if that were safe or would be esteemed honor- 
able." 

The rules of conduct Mr. Kendall had prescribed to himself as 
an editor were, that he would never knowingly assert an untruth 
about men, measures, or things ; that if betrayed into one by mis- 
information or mistake, he would, as soon as correctly informed, 
retract it, whether requested by an injured party to do so or not ; 
that no threats or violence should induce him to retract any state- 
ment which he believed to be true ; that if insulted, he would re- 
turn the insult in kind ; that if assaulted, he would defend himself 
by any means at hand, if necessary by taking the life of his as- 
sailant, but would sooner take a whipping than run when attacked. 
As to duelling, he would not say that nothing could induce him to 



A VISIT TO GOVERNOR SHELBY. 197 

fight a duel, but he would state his conviction that anything which 
could justify him to himself in attempting to take the life of a man 
in a duel, would justify him in deliberately shooting down his 
adversary in the street. Guided by these rules, he was never chal- 
lenged or insulted, except in newspaper paragraphs, for which he 
was able to retaliate in kind. 

Mr. Kendall's first political campaign had ended in an over- 
whelming victory. 

The House of Representatives, at the preceding session, had by 
a vote of sixty-one to twenty-six decided against a new election 
for a fractional term, and had thus, in a degree, prejudiced the pub- 
lic mind against the measure in any shape. He changed the issue 
to an election of a governor and lieutenant-governor for a full term, 
thus displacing the acting-governor ; and it was interesting to see 
with what facility the original supporters of a new election aban- 
doned their own project and adopted his. In achieving this result, 
however, he had been essentially aided by the known opinions of 
George M. Bibb, then a lawyer of high standing, though the labor 
of the controversy was originally all his own. As it progressed, 
however, W. T. Barry, Jesse Bledsoe, and many other prominent 
men fell into the ranks and swelled the victorious host. 

It was at first thought that so decisive a demonstration of public 
opinion would settle the question ; but doubts soon arose whether 
the Senate, but one fourth of whose members were elected annu- 
ally, would yield to the popular will. In the hope of operating on 
that body, Mr. Kendall wrote and published a series of articles, 
entitled, " The Federalism of Kentucky," the object of which was 
to satisfy the members that it was their duty to obey or resign. 

During the summer and fall of 1817 Mr. Kendall travelled but 
little, his presence being required at headquarters. On one of his 
brief excursions he made a visit to the venerable Isaac Shelby, one 
of the heroes of King's Mountain, in the Revolutionary War, who 
had been Governor of Kentucky, and then lived on a plantation in 
Lincoln County. The old man was still vigorous in body and 
mind, and was possessed of a fund of interesting facts touching 
the early history of Kentucky. Not far from his house was the 
Knob Lick, which was of itself a great curiosity. The Lick was 
an extensive excavation in the side of a hill, dug by the tongues 
of buffalo. The earth of which the hill was composed was im- 
pregnated with alum and salt. Thousands of buffalo had for ages 



198 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

come there to lick, until they had dug away one side of the hill. 
Governor Shelby said that for some time after his settlement in 
Lincoln County he procured most of his meat in this' spot. His 
practice was to hide behind a tree upon the brow of the excava- 
tion, rifle in hand, and from the hundreds, and sometimes thou- 
sands, of animals collected below, select a young fat buffalo and 
shoot him down. Sometimes he would take this position for 
amusement, and, when multitudes had collected, would suddenly 
show himself and throw a club among them, when the whole herd 
would take to flight through the forest with a sound like distant 
thunder, which could be heard for miles. When not in a panic, 
the buffalo travelled slowly, in broad, beaten paths and in a direct 
line, departed from only when they met insurmountable obstacles. 
Though at this time not a buffalo was to be found in Kentucky, 
one of their roads was still to be seen passing over the very sum- 
mit of an adjacent knob ; for, like many human road-makers, they 
had not learned that it is often less laborious to go round a hill than 
over it. 

At the session of the legislature commencing in December, 1817, 
the House of Representatives passed, by a vote of fifty-six to thirty, 
an act providing for an election of a governor and lieutenant- 
governor at the next general election, to be held in August, 1818 ; 
but, as had been expected, the Senate refused to concur. Some of 
the most ardent advocates of a new election proposed to hold one 
without the sanction of the legislature, on the ground that it was 
only the exercise of a constitutional right ; but the more moderate 
of the party, including Mr. Kendall, thought that course too 
hazardous to be adopted, and recommended that a further attempt 
be made at the next election to secure a majority of the Senate. 
' Their counsels prevailed, and it was resolved again to submit the 
issue to the people. 

Mr. Kendall reported the proceedings of the legislature, includ- 
ing sketches of the leading speeches, and the editors of the " Argus " 
were elected pubbc printers. 

During the spring and summer of 1818 the new election con- 
troversy was still carried on, but with less bitterness than in the 
preceding year. The Democratic, or New Election Party, again 
carried the House of Representatives by a large majority, but still 
failed to secure a majority in the Senate. 



CHAPTEE VII. 

In the mean time a new question had arisen, which began to 
engross the attention of the people. In 1811 Congress had re- 
fused to renew the charter of the Bank of the United States then 
existing, on the ground that such an institution was incompatible 
with the Constitution. The financial difficulties of the govern- 
ment, during the war of 1812 with Great Britain, and the sus- 
pension of specie payments by most of the State banks, induced 
many patriotic men, originally opposed to a Bank of the United 
States, to think such an institution necessary to regulate the cur- 
rency and internal exchanges, and give additional financial and po- 
litical strength to the government. 

There were in 1812-14 other causes of the weakness of the 
government than the want of such an institution. The restric- 
tive policy of Jefferson's and Madison's administrations, adopted 
and persisted in to prevent the United States from becoming in- 
volved in the war growing out of the French Bevolution, had 
crippled the trade of the country and alienated the commercial 
interest which then held most of its available wealth. Had a 
National Bank then existed, it would have been under the control 
of men whose feelings and interests were averse to the war, and 
instead of strengthening the government it might have added 
greatly to its embarrassments. Experience has shown how falla- 
cious is the idea of regulating the currency by means of a National 
Bank. Indeed, the scheme of sustaining a paper currency of uni- 
form value throughout a country so commercial and extensive as 
the United States, is an absurdity. If there be a paper currency 
equivalent to gold and silver at the commercial centres, as at New 
York, it will be worth more than gold and silver at distant points, 
as at Chicago and St. Louis. The obvious reason is, that the dif- 
ference of exchange between distant points and New York is al- 
most always in favor of that city, and bank-notes equal in value 
there to specie can be transmitted more cheaply than gold and sil- 



200 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

ver. They in fact answer the purpose of bills of exchange, and 
will as naturally flow towards those points whence the merchants 
derive their supplies of goods, as water runs to the ocean. In an 
extensive commercial community, therefore, a paper currency of 
equal value everywhere is impracticable. Most absurd is the at- 
tempt to establish such a currency in a country full of local banks, 
whose notes, though equal to gold and silver in their own imme- 
diate neighborhood, are below the par of specie at the commercial 
centres, and cannot be used as bills of exchange. It is a general 
law of currency, that when two kinds of bank-notes, or any other 
medium, exist together in the same community, the least valuable 
is the most current. If a man have notes of several banks, which 
he esteems of different values, he will first part with those which he 
thinks least valuable ; and as every man acts upon the same prin- 
ciple, it happens that the less valuable currency has the greater 
circulation. This law accounts for the fact that so little gold and 
silver circidates in company with ordinary bank-notes. But let 
bank-notes be issued in the interior which are eA r erywhere equal to 
specie, and they will at once disappear from circulation, because, 
being available as exchange, they are in that locality worth more 
than the local bank-notes or specie itself, and are hoarded for sale 
or remittance. The result would be the same if there were no 
local bank-notes in existence. 

But not only was the country led to expect a paper currency 
everywhere of equal value from a Bank of the United States, but 
this institution was expected also to equalize the domestic ex- 
changes, a process almost as difficult, if not so absurd. It would 
involve the necessity of an organization with offices in every con- 
siderable city and town in the United States, with authority in 
each to draw bills on every other office, and transmit specie to 
meet constantly accruing balances. Could all the trade between 
the different sections of the country be carried on both ways by 
bills of exchange, there would be no necessity for any considerable 
transportation of specie under ordinary circumstances. There is a 
visible flow of funds in large volumes from the "West to the East 
for the purchase of commodities for Western consumption ; yet the 
"West is not drained. The funds return, not in so grand a volume, 
but still with certainty, to keep up the ever-running stream to- 
wards the East. The process may be compared to the perpetual 
flow of the Mississippi River, ever draining the great West, which 



THE UNITED STATES BANK OF 1816. 201 

yet is never drained, because that which we see departing in mighty- 
floods returns in dews, snowflakes, and raindrops. So the volume 
of funds, which perpetually flows from the West to the East, is 
fed by funds carried from the East to the West by emigration and 
by the trade in horses, hogs, cattle, hemp, grain, and other 
products. No doubt an organization is practicable which shall ap- 
proximate an equalization of the exchanges between different sec- 
tions of the country, requiring, under ordinary circumstances, very 
little transportation of specie ; but how are its expenses to be paid, 
and who is to guarantee the fidelity of such an army of officers 
and agents as it would require ? 

In April, 1816, an act of Congress was passed establishing a 
Bank of the United States. The arguments in favor of such an 
institution were as follows: — 

1. That it would greatly facilitate the fiscal operations of the 
Treasury of the United States. 

2. That it would regulate the currency by compelling the State 
banks to resume and continue specie-payment. 

3. That it would equalize exchanges. 

4 That it would furnish, in its notes, a currency everywhere in 
the United States of uniform value. 

In every one of these objects, except the first, the United States 
Bank of 1816 was a total failure. 

As the failure was perhaps more signal in Kentucky than any- 
where else, its operations in that State, intimately connected as they 
are with this narrative, will illustrate its operations elsewhere with 
sufficient precision. 

It not only failed in Kentucky as it did elsewhere " to regulate 
the currency by compelling the State banks to resume and con- 
tinue specie-payments," but it compelled the State banks to sus- 
pend specie-payments after they had resumed. 

After the close of the war of 1812 with Great Britain, the Bank 
of Kentucky went to work, honestly and earnestly, in curtailing 
its issues, and in the spring of 1817 resumed the payment of 
specie. 

About the same time a branch of the Bank of the United States 
began operations in Lexington, and subsequently another was lo- 
cated at Louisville. They issued very few notes, and such as they 
did issue, instead of entering into general circulation, were snatched 
up and sent East to pay for goods, the branches receiving the notes 



202 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

of the Bank of Kentucky for exchange ; in all their transactions 
they soon accumulated heavy balances, which that bank, not being 
able to obtain the notes of the branches, found it impossible to pay 
otherwise than with its specie. The withdrawal of its notes from 
circulation, first to enable it to resume specie-payments, and then 
to sustain it in that ability under the adverse operation of the 
United States branch banks, began to operate disastrously on the 
prices of property and the means of debtors to pay their debts, 
and a cry for relief went up to the legislature. It was answered 
at the session of 1817-18, by the establishment of forty-three in- 
dependent banks, scattered over the whole State. Their aggregate 
capital was fixed at S 5,670,000, to be composed of specie or the 
notes of the Bank of Kentucky. During the year 1818 about half 
of these banks went into operation, and threw out their notes. 
For the moment this measure gave an impulse to speculation, 
though it greatly aggravated the trouble which ensued. Men 
reasoned that the establishment of banks would enhance the value 
of property in the towns where they were located, and they made 
extensive purchases of town property, borrowing notes from the 
banks to make the first payment, and relying on sales at advanced 
prices to meet the subsequent ones, and to yield them a profit. 
The operation ended in the ruin of most of those who had em- 
barked in it. The United States branch banks received the notes 
of such of the new banks as were convenient to them and were 
supposed to be prudently managed, thus restricting their issues as 
well as those of the Bank of Kentucky ; while the unchecked inde- 
pendent banks threw out their notes in profusion, filling the State 
with a depreciated currency. The failure of the Bank of the 
United States to " regulate the currency " was now conspicuous. 
It checked banks which needed no check, forced them to take in 
their notes, and furnished no substitute, thus leaving the field of 
circulation to the inferior banks at home and in other States. 

The Bank of the United States at first made an attempt to fur- 
nish a currency everywhere of uniform value, which was one of 
the principal objects of its creation. It received everywhere in 
deposits and payments the notes of the principal bank and all its 
branches. The - consequence was that the notes of the Western 
branches, being remitted Eastward as exchange, accumulated in 
the principal bank and Eastern branches, raising balances against 
the Western branches which at that time they had no means of 



DISCUSSION OF UNITED STATES BANK. 203 

discharging otherwise than by the transportation of specie. About 
$ 20,000,000 of the capital of the bank consisted of United States 
five and six per cent stocks, and upwards of eight millions of stock 
notes fraudulently received by the bank in lieu of the payment of 
specie upon original subscriptions to the stock required by the 
charter. Its specie capital was, therefore, very small, though aug- 
mented by specie imported from abroad, to the amount of about 
$ 7,300,000 ; and having lost credit by fraudulent management, 
it became necessary to the preservation of its existence to call on 
the Western branches for payment of their balances. 

In April, 1817, after the resumption of specie payments, the 
notes of the Bank of Kentucky in circulation, exclusive of its 
branches, amounted to $ 417,000. In November, 1818, its notes 
in circulation had been reduced to $ 195,000. At the latter date 
the Bank of Kentucky and branches were indebted to the United 
States branch banks $409,000. To maintain specie payments, 
the Bank of Kentucky had in 1817 imported from the East and 
from New Orleans $ 240,000 in specie. As this bank was unable 
to meet the balances accruing against it in the United States 
branch banks, with unexpected rapidity, they had been suffered to 
accumulate on payment of interest ; but in November, 1819, the 
branches received peremptory instructions from Philadelphia to 
stop the interest account and collect the sums due without delay. 
It followed that the Bank of Kentucky suspended specie pay- 
ments. But upon an agreement of the United States branch 
banks to receive payment in instalments of ten per cent every 
sixty days, one half in specie and the other in Eastern exchange, 
with interest on the amounts due, the Kentucky Bank resumed 
payment, having been in a state of suspension but a few days. 

Soon afterwards, the directors of the Bank of the United States 
ordered their Western branches to receive in their business no cur- 
rency but gold and silver and their own notes ; and about the same 
time ceased receiving their own notes from their private customers 
except at the offices whence they had been issued. 

This course would have reduced the notes of the branches to a 
level with those of the specie-paying State banks in their vicinity, 
but for the fact that they were everywhere receivable for public 
dues, which gave them universal credit and rendered them still 
, available as exchange. Of course, the notes of the branches still 
disappeared as fast as issued, and added nothing to the local cur- 



204 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OP AMOS KENDALL. 

rency of the country. Nor did the order not to receive the notes 
of the local specie-paying banks afford them any sensible relief. 
It merely compelled the customers of the branch banks to draw 
the specie from the State banks themselves for the purpose of pay- 
ing balances and purchasing exchange, instead of using the local 
currency for these purposes, so that the drain of specie from the 
State banks continued as heavy as before. The Bank of Kentucky 
struggled manfully against this adverse current, but in vain. The 
immense diminution of the circulating medium had acted disas- 
trously on the prices of property and on every department of trade, 
so that the banks found it impossible to collect the debts due them 
with sufficient expedition to meet their rapidly returning circula- 
tion, and general panic pervaded the public mind. 

The United States branch banks in the West had been ordered 
to retrench their line of discounts twenty-five per cent ; but it 
was impossible to execute the order except to a very moderate 
extent. The Bank of the United States itself, owing to misman- 
agement and abuse, was on the brink of ruin, and was pressing 
its Western branches for remittances in specie, and while those 
branches were wagoning specie to the East, the Bank of Kentucky 
was wagoning it to the West to fortify its position. On one occa- 
sion it was said that wagons thus freighted passed each other on 
the Alleghany mountains. 

At a meeting of the stockholders of the Bank of Kentucky, held 
on the 4th of May, 1820, a poll was opened in favor of and against 
the suspension of specie payments, and the question was decided 
in the affirmative by a large majority. On the same evening the 
directors voted unanimously to carry the resolution into effect, 
and the vaults of the bank were closed to the public, never again 
to be opened. 

It was thus that the Bank of the United States checked the 
State bank and regulated the currency of Kentucky ! It found 
there a sound local currency, issued by a bank managed with signal 
caution, ability, and skilL It was mainly instrumental in driving 
that currency out of circulation without furnishing a substitute, 
and compelling the bank which issued it to stop payment. Its 
branches continued to exist in Kentucky ; but with no more power 
to control the local banks and restore a sound currency than 
stranded whales have to control the motions of the little fishes 
which swim around them. 



STATE VERSUS NATION. 205 

The Legislature of Kentucky, influenced, as most legislatures 
are upon such subjects, by men who wish to borrow money, had 
invited the Bank of the United States to locate branches in that 
State ; but like the poor frogs, at whose request Jupiter sent them 
a king in the shape of a serpent, the people soon began to repent 
the rash act of their servants. The first movement in any way 
hostile to the bank was an act of the legislature, passed at the ses- 
sion of 1817-18, imposing an annual tax of $8,000 each on the 
-United States branch banks, estimated to be equal in proportion 
to the capital employed to that imposed on the Bank of Kentucky. 
This act impbsed heavy penalties on the officers of the branches in 
case they refused to pay the tax. Their refusal was a matter of 
course, and the State commenced suit in its own courts for the 
recovery of the penalties. 

In January, 1819, the Legislature of Kentucky passed an act 
imposing a tax of $ 60,000 each on the United States branch banks 
in that State, and requiring the sergeant of the Court of Appeals 
to collect it in a summary manner. The avowed object was to 
drive them out of the State. The banks, however, obtained from 
the judges of the United States Circuit Court an injunction to re- 
strain the sergeant from executing the act of the legislature. In 
this condition was the controversy with the Bank of the United 
States in Kentucky when the Supreme Court of the United States, 
in the case of McCulloch vs. The State of Maryland, decided that 
the bank was constitutional, and that the States had no right to 
tax it. 

In the mean time the suits commenced by the State for the re- 
covery of the penalties imposed by the tax law of 1817-18 had 
been taken up to the Court of Appeals of Kentucky, where they 
were argued in the latter part of May, 1819. In December, 1819, 
the court, consisting of Judges John Boyle, William Owsley, and 
John Bowan, announced their decision, which was to the following 
effect : — 

The judges were unanimous in the opinion that the Bank of the 
United States was unconstitutional, and on that account the State 
had a right to tax it and enforce the collection of the tax. Judges 
Owsley and Bowan were of the opinion that if the bank were con- 
stitutional the States would still have a right to tax it, from which 
opinion Judge Boyle dissented. 

Judges Boyle and Owsley were of the opinion that the decision 



206 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

of the United States Supreme Court, in the case of McCulloch vs. 
The State of Maryland, affirming the constitutionality of the bank 
and denying the right of the States to tax it, was conclusive upon 
the State courts; from which opinion Judge Eowan dissented, 
maintaining that it was the duty of the court to sustain the State 
in the exercise of its admitted right, in order that the subject 
might be again carried up to the Supreme Court, thus giving that 
tribunal an opportunity to reconsider the whole subject. 

Thus ended the efforts of Kentucky to enforce her taxing power 
upon the branches of the United States Bank located within her 
borders. 

In the mean time, the State of Ohio had laid a tax o'f S 100,000 
on the branches of the Bank of the United States in that State, 
which, in September, 1819, was summarily collected. The bank 
commenced a suit or suits against the officers of the State in the 
United States Court, the result of which was that the United 
States Marshal, under the authority of the court, entered the 
treasury of the State, seized the money, and replaced it in the 
United States branch bank at Chillicothe, whence it had been 
taken. 

Although the people of the West with almost entire unanimity 
believed the bank unconstitutional, and that the power of the 
States to tax its business, its stock, its income, and all its property 
was clearly within the reservations of the Constitution, yet they 
were not prepared to resist the United States tribunals by force, 
and concluded to await the peaceful remedies provided by our 
institutions. 

The opposition of Mr. Kendall to the Bank of the United States 
began in 1818, when it was not yet two years old, and ceased only 
with its prostration under the giant blows of President Jackson, 
aided by its own corruptions. The complaints made by himself' 
and many others about the management of the bank were met by 
an illiberal reply and defence of that management in the "Ken- 
tucky Eeporter," published in Lexington, over the signature of 
"Sertorras." To his strictures Mr. Kendall began a rejoinder in 
the "Argus" of the 13th of November, 1818, over the signature 
of "Cato.' These articles brought down upon him fierce denun- 
ciations from the newspapers which sustained the cause of the 
bank. He was called "a political incendiary," attempting "to 
produce civil commotion," guilty of "a base and open endeavor to 



REVIEW OF THE SUPREME COURT DECISION. 207 

excite actual warfare between the State of Kentucky and the Gov- 
ernment of the United States," etc., etc. 

In his paper of the 12th of March Mr. Kendall indignantly 
repelled this charge. 

In his next issue was announced the " momentous decision of 
the Supreme Court of the United States affirming the constitu- 
tionality of the Bank of the United States, and denying the right 
of the States to tax it." 

In his paper of the 7th of May Mr. Kendall commenced a re- 
view of this decision in a series of eleven articles, showing what 
were then and ever have been his views in regard to the relative 
rights and powers of the several States and the United States, as 
well as the importance of preserving them as adjusted in the 
Constitution. 

In No. 2 Mr. Kendall contests the argument of the Supreme 
Court deduced from the fact that a national bank had been estab- 
lished early in the history of the government, and that the prin- 
ciple had been recognized by many successive legislatures and 
acted upon in the judicial department in cases of peculiar deli- 
cacy " as a law of undoubted obligation." The force of this argu- 
ment was denied, as well as its applicability to a popular govern- 
ment, where it is the province of popular opinion, operating through 
the right of suffrage, to reverse precedents set by their rulers, cor- 
rect their abuses, and put a stop to their usurpations. It is some- 
times a slow remedy, as in the case of the old Bank of the United 
States, in which it was many years before the popular voice could 
reach the subject through Congress, and when it did, justice to the 
stockholders of the bank who had, under the faith of the govern- 
ment, vested their funds in it, required that it should be permitted 
to live out its corporate term of existence. But by the refusal of 
Congress, on constitutional grounds, to re-charter the bank, the 
precedent set by its original incorporation was reversed, and its 
authoritative character destroyed. 

* He then shows that a proposed grant of power to Congress to 
establish corporations was directly negatived by the convention 
which framed the Constitution, and that in the discussions which 
preceded its adoption in the press and in the State conventions, 
the idea was never broached by its bitterest enemies or most ardent 
friends, that the new government would have power to establish 
banks or any other corporations. These facts were deemed con- 



208 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

elusive evidence that neither the framers of the Constitution nor 
the people who adopted it ever imagined that Congress would 
possess any such power, and its assumption was ascribed to the 
disposition evinced by the leaders of the Federal party to en- 
large the powers of the general government and restrict those of 
the States by implication. 

No. 3 combats a position assumed by the Supreme Court, that 
the Constitution derived its authority from the people of the 
United States in mass, and shows that it was adopted by " each 
State or the people of each State, acting for themselves only." It is 
shown that although an immense majority of the people inhabiting 
the United States had voted in favor of the Constitution, it could 
never have been binding on anybody until ratified " by the con- 
ventions of nine States," not by a majority of the aggregate people 
of nine States, and that if ratified by the unanimous vote of the 
whole people in all the States, except Ehode Island, it would not 
have acquired the least authority over the people of that State 
without their separate consent. The phrase, " We, the people of 
the United States," with which the Constitution commences, does 
not refer to the people of the United States previously existing, but 
to the people of the United States then proposed to he formed ; and 
had only nine States ratified the Constitution, it would have in- 
cluded only the people of those nine States. 

Its application was prospective, not retrospective : the people 
adopting it were not " people of the United States " until nine 
States had concurred, and had it not been ratified by that number 
of States, there would never have been a " people of the United 
States " within its true meaning. That the Constitution derives 
its authority from the States, and not from a majority of the peo- 
ple of the United States, is illustrated by the progressive manner 
in which it was adopted, by the mode of admission of new States, 
and by the process through which amendments are adopted, in all 
of which the people act by States, and not by a majority of the 
whole mass. 

Nor is our government one of a popular majority of " the peo- 
ple of the United States " as created by the Constitution. While 
the House of Eepresentatives approximates a representation of 
a majority of the people, the Senate is a representation of the 
States, in which the smallest has the same power as the largest, 
and no act of legislation can pass without the concurrence of a 



REVIEW OF THE SUPREME COURT DECISION 209 

majority of both. Nor is the President elected by a popular 
majority in which all the people of the United States have an equal 
voice ; for, as the number of electors of President and Vice-Presi- 
dent assigned to each State is equal to its representation in both 
Houses of Congress, it results that, everything else being equal, 
the voter in the smallest State has more than double the weight in 
electing the President and Vice-President of a voter in the largest 
State. 

Neither in its origin nor in practice, therefore, is the government 
of the United States the government of a popular majority. In 
its origin the Constitution was a compact between States in their 
sovereign capacity, each agreeing with the rest to vest a portion 
of their powers in a common government. The very nature of the 
transaction required that the powers of this government should be 
accurately defined, for it was necessary that the United States 
should know what powers they possessed, and that the States 
should know what powers they had left. 

No. 4 adverts to the inconsistency of the court in declaring that 
" the government is acknowledged by all to be one of enumerated 
powers," and admitting that " among the enumerated powers we do 
not find that of establishing a bank or establishing a corporation," 
and yet maintaining that such an act is constitutional. 

It treats the provision in the Constitution authorizing Congress 
to pass all laws necessary and proper to carry into effect the enu- 
merated powers, as unnecessary, if construed as an enlargement 
of their powers, being a grant of incidental powers. 

The words, " all legislative powers herein granted shall be vested 
in a Congress of the United States," are quoted, and it is argued, 
that they necessarily imply a definite description of the powers 
granted, as such description is an essential part of every grant. 
The idea is illustrated by reference to grants of land described in 
deeds, and to powers in a letter of attorney. There must be a 
grantor and a grantee and a thing granted. The grantor must 
design to part with the thing granted, and the grantee must be 
willing to accept it. There can, therefore, be no such thing as im- 
plied powers in a constitution based exclusively on granted powers. 

Attention is called to the argument of the court based on the 
omission of the word " expressly " before the word " delegated " in 
the tenth amendment to the Constitution, which declares that 
" the powers not delegated to the United States by this Constitu- 

14 



210 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

tion, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States 
respectively, or to the people," and it is maintained that the avowed 
object of this amendment (which was more effectually to confine 
Congress to the granted powers), as well as the relation which the 
word " delegated " occupies in reference to the reserved powers of 
the States or the people, gives it precisely the same meaning as if 
it had been preceded by the word " expressly." How else can the 
reserved powers of the States or the people be ascertained ? To 
know what is reserved we must know what is delegated, and how 
can we know what is delegated unless Ave can find it expressly 
granted in the Constitution ? 

The plan of the Constitution which divides the powers of gov- 
ernment into two classes, the " granted " and the " reserved," is 
wholly incompatible with the idea of implied powers among the 
granted, and if by the omission of the word " expressly " in the 
tenth amendment it was intended to leave the way open for Con- 
gress to assume implied powers, and thus encroach upon the 
reserved powers of the States or the people, it was an imposition 
and a fraud. 

No. 5 quotes the objections to the Constitution by Patrick 
Henry in the Virginia Convention, based on the prohibitions con- 
tained in the ninth section, which, he maintained, might be con- 
strued to authorize the exercise by Congress of all powers not ex- 
pressly prohibited, and although this construction was repelled by 
its friends, it is now revived by Chief Justice Marshall, himself 
one of those friends, in the argument which he deduces from that 
section. This number concluded as follows : — 

" Let us guard against the doctrine of implied powers, — guard 
against this opinion of the Supreme Court. The establishment of a 
national bank is as nothing compared with the powers which may be 
exercised under the protecting wing of this decision. The mind is lost 
in the confused multitude of implications passing before it, — mere phan- 
toms in the opinions of good, easy politicians, hut which may hereafter 
assume a form and substance as terrible to the government of the States 
as they are now unexpected in the minds of the people. 

" The principle is determined, the foundation is laid, and unless the 
people resist, nothing is wanting to complete the work but a bold, ener- 
getic, skilful, and persevering master." 

No. 6 is devoted to the examination of the argument of the 
Court, that the word " necessary," in the grant of power to Congress 



REVIEW OF THE SUPREME COURT DECISION. 211 

to pass all laws " necessary and proper " to carry into effect the 
enumerated powers, does not mean " absolutely necessary," but only 
convenient, useful, or conducive to the end. 

The word, says the court, " admits of all degrees of comparison " : 
" a thing may be necessary, very necessary, absolutely or indispen- 
sably necessary." 

To illustrate their argument they say : — 

" It is, we think, impossible to compare the sentence which prohibits 
the laying of imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may 
be absolutely necessary for executing its inspection laws, with that which 
authorizes Congress to pass all laws necessary and proper for carrying 
into execution the powers of the general government, without feeling a 
conviction that the convention understood itself to change materially 
the meaning of the word necessary by prefixing the word absolutely." 

The reviewer proceeds to show that the difference is one of form 
rather than substance. It is not " absolutely necessary " to the 
execution of their inspection laws that the States should lay any 
duties at all on imports or exports ; for they might pay the expen- 
ses out of their ordinary revenues. If, therefore, this be a case of 
the superlative degree of necessity, as represented by the court, 
the States have no power to lay any such duties at all ; for they 
are not indispensable to the execution of the inspection laws. It 
follows that " absolutely necessary " does not mean indispensable, 
but only " convenient " in the same sense which the court attaches 
to the word " necessary " in its most mitigated sense. In this 
case, however, the phrase " absolutely necessary " has reference only 
to the amount of money to be raised to pay the expenses of in- 
spection ; and whether the word " necessary " be used with or with- 
out the prefix " absolutely," the meaning is precisely the same, its 
only effect being to express it more emphatically. 

The court furnished a list of what they called the exercise of 
implied powers, not indispensably necessary, exercised by Congress 
under the grant to pass all laws " necessary and proper," etc. 

The court says : — 

" The power to establish post-offices and post-roads is executed by the 
single act of making the establishment. But from this has been in- 
ferred the power and duty of carrying the mail along the post-road from 
one post-office to another. And from the implied power has again been 
inferred the right to punish those who steal letters from the post-office 



212 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

or rob the mail. It may be said, with some plausibility, that the right 
to carry the mail, and to punish those who rob it, is not indispensably 
necessary to the existence of a post-office or a post-road. This right is 
indeed essential to the beneficial exercise of the power, but not indis- 
pensably necessary to its existence." 

This example given by the court is most replete with soph- 
istry, and most unfortunate for their argument. They say, " The 
power to carry the mail along the post-roads from one post-office 
to another is a power implied from the express power to establish 
post-offices and post-roads." Wonderful ingenuity! Miraculous 
skill in dividing things which are indivisible, — in splitting things 
which are unsplitable ! Never till this elaborate opinion met the 
eyes of a wondering world, did the humble citizens of this Eepub- 
lic for one moment imagine that a quality could exist without sub- 
stance, — that a post-road could exist without a post. As well 
might we attempt to make a man tailor without a man, a veteran 
army without veterans, a winged animal without wings, a wheeled 
carriage without wheels, a steamboat without steam, a stone-wall 
without stones, or a wise judge without wisdom ! True, the gov- 
ernment may designate a road and call it a post-road. So they 
may pass an act to raise an army and call it an army. But, never- 
theless, the one is not a post-road until the post travels upon it, 
nor is the other an army until the men are enlisted. The road and 
the post make up the post-road. There might be a post-road with- 
out a road as well as without a post. The two ideas are inseparable. 
A grant of power to send a post would include the power to send 
it along the roads of a country ; so, on the other hand, the grant 
of a power to establish a post-road includes the power to send the 
post along it. The same argument will apply to post-offices. With- 
out a post there can be no post-office. 

No. 7 criticises the positions of the court in maintaining, first, 
that without the constitutional grant to Congress of the power to 
pass all laws " necessary and proper " to carry into effect the enu- 
merated powers, the power of Congress in the selection of means 
to that end would have been unlimited ; secondly, that its terms 
purport to enlarge, not to diminish, the powers vested in the gov- 
ernment ; and, thirdly, that if it do not enlarge it cannot be 
construed to restrain the powers of Congress, all of which, taken 
together, it is maintained, leads to the logical conclusion that this 
provision in the Constitution means nothing at all ! 



REVIEW OF THE SUPREME COURT DECISION. 213 

After further strictures on the positions of the court, the re- 
viewer proceeds to state what are his own views touching the mean- 
ing of the word " necessary " in this connection, as follows : — 

" From the preceding remarks it is evident that the word ' necessary,' 
as applied to Congress in the passage of laws, must restrict them to the 
passage of those only which shall necessarily and exclusively tend to the 
execution of some power vested in that body. They have under this 
word a choice of means; but the means chosen must conduce to the 
execution of their delegated powers, exclusively and entirely. They can- 
not rightfully pass a law which only in part tends to the execution of 
their powers ; the part which might not have this tendency would be 
unconstitutional and void. They have no right to pass laws which 
shall only incidentally and not necessarily tend to their object. They 
cannot rightfully use as means anything which has no necessary con- 
nection with the end ; much less can they bring under the denomina- 
tion of means those things which may exist in the same shape, and 
operate on the community entirely independent of the end, and after it 
has been accomplished. 

" The word ' proper ' means that the laws which Congress may right- 
fully pass, in carrying into effect their delegated powers, must be such as 
do not violate the rights of any State or individual. 

" The phrase ' necessary and proper ' means that the laws passed must 
necessarily and exclusively conduce to the execution of a delegated power, 
and at the same time not violate the rights of any State or individual. It 
was used to restrict Congress in the choice of means, and prevent the as- 
sumption of new powers under the pretence of using them as the means 
of executing those which were actually delegated. This clause illustrates 
in the most powerful manner the intention of the parties to the national 
compact ; it tells us that Congress is not only limited in its powers, but 
also in the means of carrying them into execution. Nothing was left 
to implication, — the incidental powers as well as the principal, the means 
as well as the ends, are expressly granted, carefully restricted, and accu- 
rately defined in the expressions of the Constitution." 

The reviewer then shows that the court appeared to attach no 
significance to the word " proper," with which " necessary " stands 
connected, and proceeds to give his own view of its meaning in the 
following words : — 

"However 'necessary' a law might be, yet if it violated any State or 
individual rights it would not be ' proper,' and Congress would have no 
right to pass it. This is the obvious meaning of the word as used in 
the Constitution. If it meant merely appropriate, it would be super- 



214 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

fluousj for that idea is contained in the word 'necessary,' whether it 
means convenient or something more. That a convention used the 
word without any meaning at all, or without intending that it should 
have some effect in denning the character of the laws which Congress 
might pass, is a supposition not admissible. To add a word without 
any meaning at all, or to take away the meaning of another, would in- 
deed be an ' extraordinary departure from the usual course of the human 
mind as exhibited in composition,' especially when the latter word is 
coupled with the former and made a part of the same definition. The 
laws which Congress pass must not only be ' necessary ' but ' proper ' 
also. However 'necessary' a law maybe, yet, if it be not 'proper,' 
Congress has no right to pass it. They must seek other means to exe- 
cute the delegated powers, and pass laws which are both necessary and 
proper, or if no such law can be framed, then the delegated power 
cannot be executed. The word ' proper,' then, instead of enlarging 
the power granted by the word 'necessary,' actually restricts it, and 
confines Congress to still narrower limits. 

" For example, Congress has a right to lay taxes on land, and the 
States have the same right. Both might exercise that power, and it 
might become absolutely necessary for the collection of the national tax 
that Congress should pass a law abrogating the State tax ; but such a 
law would not be ' proper,' because it would violate the rights of the 
State. 

" It might be absolutely necessary for the ' common defence ' that a 
fort should be built on some spot of ground within a State ; but Con- 
gress cannot purchase land for that purpose without the consent of the 
State. However urgent the necessity, if the State should refuse its 
consent, Congress could pass no law authorizing the land to be pur- 
chased and the fort to be built, because the act would violate a right 
reserved to the State ; it would not be ' proper.' " 

No. 8 contains an application of the principles developed in 
the preceding numbers to the case of the Bank of the United 
States. 

It is not denied that Congress has a choice of means in the 
exercise of their enumerated powers; but those means must be 
" necessary and proper." That is to say, they must tend neces- 
sarily and exclusively to the execution of the delegated power, 
and at the same time must not infringe upon any right " reserved 
to the States or the people." 

The argument in support of the constitutionality of the Bank 
of the United States is, that it is a necessary auxiliary of the 
treasury in managing the finances of the government. 



REVIEW OF THE SUPREME COURT DECISION. 215 

The reviewer proceeds to show that the bank had no agency in 
assessing or collecting the revenues of the United States, whether 
from direct taxes, excises, or imposts. The only duty as an aux- 
iliary to the treasury is specified in its charter, by which it is 
bound, when required by the Secretary of the Treasury, " to give 
the necessary facilities for transferring the public funds -from place 
to place within the United States and the Territories thereof, and 
for distributing the same in payment of the public creditors, with- 
out charging commission or claiming allowance on account of dif- 
ference of exchange, and shall also do and perform the several and 
respective duties of Commissioners of Loans for the several States, 
or any one or more of them, whenever required by law." These are 
all the acts which the bank is bound to perform as an auxiliary to 
the Treasury, and even these are contingent. If they shall not be 
required by the Secretary of the Treasury, or by law, the bank 
stands as disconnected from the government as any State bank. 
That government must, in the exercise of its powers, act through 
agents, is admitted ; but it cannot therefore clothe its agents with 
powers wholly outside of the legitimate ends proposed to be ac- 
complished. It may employ State banks or individuals to transfer 
the public funds ; but it does not follow that they can enlarge the 
power of the State banks employed by it, or confer powers of 
banking on individuals. The government might make with an in- 
dividual the same arrangement for the transfer and distribution of 
its funds as it made with the Bank of the United States, without 
its being " necessary " or " proper " to clothe him with power to 
issue his notes, build banking-houses, discount paper, buy and sell 
real estate, etc., etc. But if they could not constitutionally confer 
these extensive powers on an individual, whence the authority to 
confer them on any number of individuals associated for the same 
purpose ? 

The reviewer enumerates the powers conferred on the bank by 
its charter, and maintains that not one of them is " necessary " 
to the transfer of the public funds or the discharge of the duties 
of Commissioner of Loans. They all look to other objects having 
none, or if any, the most remote bearing on the business of the 
government. 

The position of the court is, that the bank is the " necessary and 
proper " means of the government for executing the powers dele- 
gated to it by the Constitution. If this be true, it presents the 



216 AUTOBIOGKAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

anomaly of a government raising a revenue by taxing its own 
means ! At the start, it exacted a bonus from the bank of a mil- 
lion and a half of dollars. What was this for ? Was it for ser- 
vices rendered by the bank to the government, or for favors 
extended by the government to the bank ? If the former, it pre- 
sents the- anomaly of a government taxing its agents for the 
privdege of serving it ; if the latter, it is conclusive evidence that 
Congress, in conferring such enormous powers upon the bank, had 
something in view besides the service of the government. 

Though the power of Congress to create a corporation for any 
purpose, except in the District of Columbia, is denied, the reviewer 
assumes, for the sake of argument, that Congress may give corporate 
powers to its own agents or employees. Yet he maintains that 
they cannot, by such an expedient, enlarge the powers of the gov- 
ernment. The corporate powers must be such only as an individual 
would possess if employed for the same purpose. 

To illustrate: If Congress should deem it "necessary and 
proper " to create a corporation as means of executing the power 
" to establish post-offices and post-roads," they could not confer on 
such corporations powers which they do not themselves possess. 
The aggregate powers of the postmaster-general, deputy postmas- 
ters, and contractors might be vested in the corporate body ; but 
does it follow that because they use roads, Congress could clothe 
them with power to make roads ? Or because they use leather, 
they may make money by buying and selling leather ? Or because 
horses, wagons, and stages are used by them, they confer on them 
power to make and sell them for profit ? Or because they use 
blanks, they may establish and publish a newspaper ? Or because 
they collect and transfer post-office funds, they may exercise all 
the powers vested in the Bank of the United States ? The idea is 
preposterous. If corporations are to be used as means of executing 
the granted powers of Congress, they must, like other means, be 
" necessary and proper," tending exclusively to the end sought to be 
accomplished. 

In No. 9 the reviewer undertakes to show particular cases in 
which the act establishing the bank is unconstitutional. 

First. Congress has conferred on the bank powers which it does 
not itself possess. By the Constitution, Congress cannot purchase 
land within the States, for any purpose, without their consent, and, 
even with their consent, only " for the erection of forts, magazines, 



REVIEW OF THE SUPKEME COURT DECISION. 217 

arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings." Now the 
seventh section of the bank charter authorizes that institution, 
without the consent of the States, to purchase and sell "lands, 
rents, tenements, hereditaments," and the seventh clause of the 
eleventh section declares that the " lands, tenements, and heredita- 
ments " which it may lawfully hold shall be only such as may be • 
necessary for the convenient transaction of its business, or such as 
may be acquired in payment of debts. The bank, therefore, 
whether considered as the agent of the government or not, is au- 
thorized to purchase lands, not only without the consent of the 
States, but for other purposes than those only for which the gov- 
ernment may make such purchases. 

Secondly. If the opinion of the court be correct, Congress has 
bartered away a portion of its constitutional powers. If one 
bank be a " necessary and proper " means of executing its dele- 
gated powers, circumstances might make it equally " necessary and 
proper " to establish one or more additional banks. But the twen- 
tieth section of the charter requires the bank to pay the govern- 
ment a million and a half of dollars as a bonus, and the twenty- 
first pledges the faith of the United States that " no other bank 
shall be established by any future law of the United States during 
the continuance of the corporation hereby created." These pro- 
visions imply that Congress had power to establish other banks, 
but sold that power to the corporation then created. If, therefore, 
banks are " necessary and proper " means of executing the powers 
delegated to Congress, that body has sold a portion of its constitu- 
tional power to the Bank of the United States. 

Thirdly. If the opinion of the court be correct, the act of Con- 
gress establishing the bank withdraws from the States a legitimate 
object of State taxation. The elucidation of this point is, how- 
ever, deferred to the next number. 

No. 10. The argument in this number may be summed up as 
follows : — 

The States, before the adoption of the Constitution, enjoyed an 
unlimited power of taxation over persons, property, business, in- 
come, and every conceivable object from which a revenue can be 
collected. 

Banking is a business, the right to pursue which is not originally 
derived from the laws, but belongs to every man in the community 
■who chooses to pursue it. Until the law stepped in, and, from 



218 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

motives of public policy, took away the right, any man or associa- 
tion of men might establish a hank, and use their credit in the 
circulation of their notes as a currency as widely as their fellow- 
citizens chose to receive them. 

Bank charters are, in their nature, but the restoration and regu- 
lation of the exercise of the right which had been previously taken 
away. 

Before the adoption of the Constitution, the entire control of 
the banking business, with an unlimited power to tax it, belonged 
to the States. Did they give up the power to regulate or tax it 
by the adoption of the Constitution ? Or if (as is denied) the 
power to regulate it in its bearings on the powers expressly granted 
to Congress is incidentally delegated, can the United States con- 
stitutionally exempt it from State taxation ? 

In adopting the Constitution, the States reserved to themselves 
or the people every power not by that instrument delegated to the 
United States. It follows, that the right to tax the business of 
banking carried on within their borders is reserved to the States 
in the most unlimited manner. Nor can it be taken away or in- 
fringed by means of the incidental power vested in Congress to 
pass all laws which may be " necessary and proper " to carry into 
effect their delegated powers ; for however " necessary '' it might 
be considered, it would not be " proper," because it would infringe 
upon the reserved powers of the States. To maintain that the 
reserved powers of the States can be swallowed up as a means of 
executing the powers granted to Congress, is not a whit sounder 
reasoning than to say that the States, in the exercise of their re- 
served powers, can nullify a power expressly granted to Congress. 
The one is just as sacred as the other, and not more so. 

It is admitted that the States cannot tax the agents or the 
operations of the general government in their public character. 
They cannot tax a postmaster or a custom-house officer as such ; 
but they may tax his poll as a citizen, and his business if a banker. 
Nor can Congress relieve the one or the other from State taxation 
because the party may be employed by the United States to per- 
form certain public duties which cannot be taxed. Apply this 
principle to the bank. Admit that in its capacity as agent of the 
government for the transfer of its funds, and performing the duties 
of commissioners of loans, it cannot be taxed by the States, does it 
follow that they cannot tax it as a bank ? If they cannot tax the 



REVIEW OF THE SUPREME COURT DECISION. 219 

bank's public business, does it follow that they cannot tax its 
private business ? 

The reviewer contests the conclusion of the Supreme Court 
deduced from the provision of the Constitution, which declares 
that the laws of Congress and the treaties passed or negotiated in 
pursuance of that instrument, shall be " the supreme laws of the 
land," maintaining that this supremacy attaches not to every act 
which Congress may think fit to pass, but only to such as may in 
their application be confined exclusively to the execution of their 
own delegated powers, and do not infringe upon the reserved rights 
of the States or the people. He also contests the application 
which the court makes of this general principle to the case before 
them, which is in effect, that, when a law of any State imposing a tax 
so operates as to defeat the operation of any law of Congress, such State 
law is null anal void. He shows that this position is not correct 
as a general proposition, even where both laws are constitutional, 
because on some subjects the powers of the States and of the 
United States are concurrent and coequal. The article concludes 
as follows : — 

" The truth is, that the States have rights as well as the nation. Both 
are supreme to the extent of their powers. The national government 
is supreme over all the powers granted to it in the Constitution, and the 
necessary and proper means of carrying them into execution, subject, 
however, to any modifications and limitations therein prescribed. The 
States are supreme over all the powers reserved by them when they 
adopted the Constitution, and over the means of carrying them into 
execution ; subject, however, to any modifications which may be pre- 
scribed in that instrument. Each has distinct powers, over which the 
other has no control. Each is supreme over its peculiar powers, and an 
attempt to control it in their exercise is an usurpation. There are some 
cases of concurrent powers. With respect to these the powers are equal. 
Neither is supreme over the other. Neither can control the other. Both 
are supreme over the object on which their powers are exercised; both 
have the right to dispose of it according to their will ; but neither has 
the right to wrest it from the hands of the other. They may take it 
from any other hands, but not from the hands of an equal. During 
war, the several States have a right to raise and support armies, and so 
has the nation. These are concurrent and coequal powers. The States 
cannot prohibit the nation from executing this power, nor the nation the 
States. Both of them are supreme over the materials of which armies 
are composed, but neither of them are supreme over the other; and 



220 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

when the materials are appropriated to the use of the one, they are not 
subject to the powers of the other, but become a part of the government 
or sovereignty which uses them. By this process, and no other, are 
these materials withdrawn from the supremacy of either party. Over 
the remainder, the State or national sovereignty remains unimpaired ; 
or, if there be no remainder, no army can be raised, and the power can- 
not be executed. Such is the idea always entertained by the warmest 
advocates and supporters of our national Constitution. 

" Among the concurrent and coequal powers of the State and national 
government is that of taxation. To the concurrency and coequality of 
this power there is but one exception, — the States cannot tax imports, 
and the nation can. Exports can be taxed by neither. Every other 
object of taxation is common to both parties. The power to lay and 
collect taxes over every other object is supreme and uncontrollable in 
both governments. If both tax, and the collection of its tax by one 
party absorb the property, it is as if it had been destroyed by fire. If 
anything remain, the other party may collect their tax ; if not, they 
must lose it. They have no more power to wrest the property from the 
hands of each other than from fire, storms, and earthquakes. It is an 
authority above their control, beyond their reach, independent and 
supreme. 

" Hence it follows that the States are just as supreme in levying and 
collecting taxes from all objects which they have reserved the right of 
taxing, as the national government itself." 

This conclusion, so plainly deducible from the nature and ex- 
pressions of the Constitution, was long since ahly defended by 
Alexander Hamilton, in the " Federalist." To show the opinion of 
that rigidly Federal statesman, we subjoin the following extracts 
from his writings : — 

" I affirm," says he, " that (with the sole exception of duties on im- 
ports and exports) they (the States) would, under the plan of the con- 
vention, retain that authority in the most absolute and unqualified sense ; 
and that an attempt on the part of the national government to abridge 
them in the exercise of it, would be a violent assumption of power unwar- 
ranted by any article or clause of the Constitution. Though a law levying 
a tax for the use of the United States would be supreme in its nature, 
and could not legally be opposed or controlled, yet a law abrogating or 
preventing the collection of a tax laid by the authority of a State (un- 
less upon imports and exports), would not be the supreme law of the 
land, but an usurpation of a power not granted by the Constitution. 

'" The inference from the whole is, that the individual States would, 



REVIEW OF THE SUPREME COURT DECISION. 221 

under the proposed Constitution, retain an independent and uncontrollable 
authority to raise revenue, to any extent of which they may stand in 
need, by every kind of taxation, except duties on imports and exports. 

" The particular States under the proposed Constitution would have 
coequal authority with the Union in the article of revenue, except as to 
duties on imports. 

" There is no power on either side to annul the acts of the other." 

These quotations are sufficient to show that Hamilton's opinion 
on this subject was variant from that of the Supreme Court. If 
Hamilton was wrong, the people were deceived into the adoption 
of a Constitution which they did not understand. 

From what has been said, we think it sufficiently evident that, 
with respect to taxation, the States possess a power as independent 
and as supreme over the objects which they have reserved the right 
of taxing as that possessed by the national government. Bank- 
ing being one of these objects, it follows that they have, in the 
language of Hamilton, " An absolute and unqualified, an independent 
and uncontrollable authority " to tax banking by " every kind of tax- 
ation" and " that an attempt on the part of the national government 
to abridge them in the exercise of it" is a " violent usurpation of power, 
unwarranted by any article or clause in the Constitution" 

No. 11, and last, is chiefly confined to illustration of the argu- 
ments advanced in the preceding numbers. The following passages 
are quoted : — 

" To conclude. Instead of turning bankers, let Congress confine 
themselves to the powers delegated in the Constitution, and the means 
which tend exclusively to their execution. Let them not attempt to 
protect, under the wing of national supremacy, the business, the property, 
or the stock of our citizens from State taxation. 

" The States reserved the right to tax that business when they adopted 
the Constitution. They cannot rightfully he deprived of it without an 
amendment to that instrument. But as the attempt by Congress has 
been sanctioned by judicial authority, we now have no remedy but a 
peaceful acquiescence and a speedy amendment to the Constitution. 
Take from Congress the assumed power of establishing a bank. 
It will deprive the national government of no power, of no means which 
they rightfully possess ; but will wrest from their grasp a new power, a 
private business, which they have assumed the right of protecting under 
the pretence of its being the ' necessary and proper ' means for the exe- 
cution of their powers. It will put the two sovereignties on their 



222 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

original footing, and confine them to their legitimate powers and proper 
means. 

" Should the broad principles advanced by the court hereafter be made 
the foundation of other usurpations, the States will be awake to a vin- 
dication of their rights." 

We are now done. 

It is not on account of the particular question which then agi- 
tated the country that so much attention has been bestowed on 
Mr. Kendall's review of the decision of the Supreme Court. The 
object is to show, first, the views then entertained by him in rela- 
tion to the nature of our government, and the only safe and just 
rule of constitutional construction ; secondly, his devotion to the 
Union, which he would not even hazard by anything looking to- 
wards forcible resistance to what he considered a most dangerous 
usurpation of the general government, subversive of a clearly re- 
served and most important right of the States, upon a principle 
which placed all their reserved rights at the mercy of Congress ; 
and, thirdly, that his opposition to the Bank of the United States, 
which many years afterwards became somewhat effective, originated 
in motives higher than party spirit, self-interest, or personal am- 
bition. No immediate effect was known to be produced by these 
articles, and none was expected. They probably had some influ- 
ence upon the minds of the judges of the Kentucky Court of 
Appeals, who subsequently, notwithstanding the argument of the 
United States Supreme Court, were unanimous in the opinion that 
the bank was unconstitutional, though a majority of them deemed 
the decision of that court binding upon them. In this part of the 
opinion Mr. Kendall did not agree. His opinion was, that when 
the two governments, State and national, come to an issue involv- 
ing the delegated powers on the one side and the reserved powers 
on the other, the Constitution has provided no common arbiter, 
and the question assumes the character of a dispute between two 
sovereigns or independent nations, having no necessary political 
connection with each other ; yet, that the States ought not, except 
in a most extreme case, to resort to force for the vindication of 
their reserved rights, because they have the means of redress 
through patience, perseverance, and the ballot-box. To this remedy 
he looked forward^ in this case, and, though long delayed, it came 
at last. 

While the discussions touching the Bank of the United States 



"CHANGE YOUR TONE OR CHANGE YOUR COAT." 223 

were in progress, the circulating medium of Kentucky was under- 
going a rapid diminution, which occasioned general embarrassment 
and individual distress. The condition of affairs was accurately 
described in an article headed " Alarming Times," published in the 
"Argus" of the 16th of April, 1819. In this the writer, Mr. 
Kendall, said: — 

" Never within the recollection of our oldest citizens has the aspect 
of the times, as it respects property and money, been so alarming. Al- 
ready has property been sacrificed in considerable quantities in this and 
neighboring counties for less than half its value. We have but little 
money in circulation, and that little is daily diminishing by the uni- 
versal calls of the banks. 

" What shall be done 1 Cannot the banks relieve us 1 If they can, 
they will not. Is not this a state of things which requires the inter- 
position of the supreme power] 

"Fellow-citizens, let us bury our private animosities and commune 
together on the means most likely to alleviate present distresses, and 
avert the calamities which threaten to cover our once happy State with 
bankrupts and beggars." 

On the 13th of May, 1819, an imposing public meeting was held 
in Frankfort, which adopted with great unanimity a series of reso- 
lutions setting forth the distressed condition of the country, re- 
questing the banks to suspend specie payments, cease for the pres- 
ent calling on their debtors, and make moderate issues of their 
notes ; and recommending an early call of the legislature for the 
purpose of legalizing and regulating these measures, and devising 
other means of relief. A committee of correspondence was ap- 
pointed, and entered zealously upon the duty assigned them, and 
in a few days meetings in several other counties responded to the 
proceedings at Frankfort. 

So strong was the tide of public opinion in favor of relief, and 
so fearful was Mr. Kendall that some wild project among the many 
suggested by interested parties would be adopted, that he felt it 
incumbent on him to advise moderation. 

But a spirit of opposition to the measures proposed sprung up, 
which exhibited itself through counter meetings, and in his paper 
of the 11th of June Mr. Kendall spoke as follows : — 

" We have prated long enough about the encouragement of domestic 
manufactures ; it is time to act. What is more ridiculous than to see 
men, clothed from head to foot in the drapery of England, declaiming 



224 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

most pathetically upon the necessity of encouraging the manufactures 
of America ! Let the people say to them, Change your tone or change 
your coat ; too long have we been insulted by useless cant, — give us a 
little practice, — set us an example of what you preach. American manu- 
factures would soon become generally used were they made fashionable. 
Great and influential men should set the example, — the rest will soon 
follow. Let them not seek for domestic cloth worth twelve or fifteen 
dollars per yard, but use a kind which our manufacturers can easily make, 
and any citizen readily procure. But if our great men will not do this, 
the object can be effected by the people themselves. Associations 
might be formed, extended over the whole country, the great object of 
which should be the wearing of domestic manufactures. Were the 
people true to themselves, they might soon create a market for their 
produce in their own neighborhood, relieve the country from its burdeES, 
and make a British coat as infamous as British principles." 

During the months of June, July, and August the Tennessee 
banks, the Cincinnati banks, and several of the Kentucky inde- 
pendent banks, stopped payment. In his paper of the 10th of 
September Mr. Kendall gave expression to his views touching 
banks in general, and the independent banks of Kentucky in par- 
ticular, which will be sufficiently understood from the following 
extracts : — 

" With respect to banks we would say a few words. Though the very 
thought of these institutions is disgusting, yet it becomes our duty to 
endure the disgust for the purpose of extricating ourselves from their 
toils or rendering them harmless. Could an amendment be effected to 
the Constitution of the United States which should prohibit any bank 
charter from being hereafter granted or renewed, either by Congress or 
the State, and thus gradually destroy the whole paper system, we should 
say, Amen. But we have no hope of so effectual a remedy. The inter- 
est of banks is too deeply rooted, prejudice in their favor has taken too 
deadly a hold to be unhanded even by the tremendous convulsions into 
which they have thrown the whole community. Ah declare the system 
a public curse, but few can think of destroying it. 

" How shall they be rendered less injurious ] How shall they be di- 
verted, from their usual course of favoritism and individual aggrandize- 
ment, to the public good ] 

" We have intimated that we did not think the step best calculated 
to restore the currency of the State would be the repeal of all the 
charters of the independent banks. There are several in the commercial 
places which might, under the present state of things, continue to exist 



COMMON SCHOOLS. 225 

with advantage to the State. But their charters require amendment. 
They have not at present sufficient responsibility. The public have not 
a sufficient assurance that they can obtain value for their notes. We 
think the following plan, communicated by ' Scsevola,' a good one : Let 
the banks give security in the county courts for the payment of their 
paper when presented. In case of non-payment, the holder of the notes 
could bring suit on the bond, and recover their amount from the securi- 
ties. This plan would be more advantageous than the responsibility of 
stockholders, because it would afford a more obvious and less tedious 
remedy. A course of this kind, we are satisfied, would afford more 
relief, and probably be of more service to the community, than an indis- 
criminate repeal of all the independent bank charters. But should the 
legislature prefer the latter course, or should they even abolish the 
whole system of banking on private capital, and make it entirely a 
public concern on public capital, we shall not view their course with 
much repugnance." 

After the State elections in August, 1819, there was a lull in Ken- 
tucky politics. There was an occasional county meeting recom- 
mending relief, and a general understanding that something would 
be done by the legislature to mitigate the public distresses ; but no 
particular measure had been so prominently recommended as to 
have become a topic of general discussion. Mr. Kendall took this 
opportunity to press on the legislature and people of Kentucky the 
importance of a system of common schools, in a series of six num- 
bers, entitled " Sketches on Education for the Consideration of the 
People of Kentucky, and particularly the Members of the next 
General Assembly." No. 1 was intended to show that a republic 
cannot be well governed unless all or a majority of the people are 
capable of governing. Will natural genius fit a man for a repre- 
sentative or governor ? No. Genius may excite public admira- 
tion, but it cannot inspire public confidence. Genius must be en- 
lightened before it can be trusted with the reins of government. 
Of this fact the people are well apprised ; and however brilliant may 
be the mind of him who offers himself for their suffrages, it is useful 
and solid intelligence alone which can inspire their permanent con- 
fidence. Why have we so many lawyers in our general assembly 
and in Congress ? Is it because they possess greater talents than 
farmers, mechanics, and merchants ? No ; but it is because the 
business of their profession requires them to study, and thus they 
become more intelligent. Intelligence, not talents, gives them a 

15 



226 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

superiority over every other class of society. Knowledge, when 
confined to a few, creates an aristocracy as marked and as effectual 
as distinctions of rank. The difference is, that the superiority 
which knowledge gives is real, and the people willingly acknowl- 
edge it ; but the superiority which rank gives is fictitious, and the 
people acknowledge it by compulsion. Yet for all practical pur- 
poses there are lords and commons in the one case as well as in 
the other. 

Let us produce equality, not by rendering anybody ignorant, 
but by rendering everybody intelligent. We would not put down 
the few, but would exalt the many. We would have no commons, 
but all should be lords. The man who has as much intelligence 
as his neighbor cannot be influenced by the authority of his 
opinions ; they are equal ; they feel themselves equal, and this is 
democracy. 

Let us not be understood as advocating the destruction of our 
university or seminaries. They are essential parts in a perfect sys- 
tem of education, but in real usefulness they bear no comparison 
with the primary schools, which convey the elements of knowl- 
edge to all classes of our citizens. It is much more important 
that all should be well-informed than that a few should obtain 
an elegant education. Both these ends are desirable, and both 
may be attained. Free schools would convey to all that de- 
gree of knowledge which would fit men for the ordinary busi- 
ness of life, and arouse the genius of all those who are endowed 
by Nature with a capacity to excel in learning or shine in superior 
situations. 

While the attention of the legislature is turned to the preserva- 
tion of our seminaries and university, let their principal effort be 
directed to the creation of a system of free schools which will con- 
fer upon the people infinitely greater benefit than all other literary 
institutions put together. 

Next to providing for the bodily comforts of its citizens, there 
is nothing to which a government should so ardently aspire as 
enlightening their minds. It is not so much the conferring of a 
single benefit as it is the construction of a fountain from which 
flow innumerable blessings. Man will take more delight in the 
society of man, and the pains and burdens of the body will be 
half destroyed by the pleasures of the mind. We shall see better 
sons, better husbands, better fathers, and better men. Beauty, 



COMMON SCHOOLS. 227 

too, will be doubly charming. Enlightened by intelligence, women 
will rise in importance, and instead of whining sensualists, with 
more of weakness than virtue in their love and in their temper, 
we shall see dignified wives, uniting with the character of mothers 
the usefulness of instructors. How great, how glorious the object ! 
How extensive and how efficient the means ! Nothing is wanting 
but to give the means a direction to this great end. 

Nos. 4 and 5 show that Kentucky had the means of establishing 
a large and productive school fund, the proceeds of which might 
be apportioned among the several counties, and disbursed under the 
supervision of the county courts, which might be authorized to lay 
a tax on their respective counties in aid of their portion of the pub- 
lic fund, divide the counties into school districts, appoint agents in 
each district, etc., etc. 

No. 6 is devoted to the Transylvania University at Lexington, 
which is strongly commended to the liberality of the legisla- 
ture. 

On the 6th of December, 1819, the legislature of Kentucky met 
at Frankfort. The acting governor in his message earnestly recom- 
mended the establishment of a school-fund and common schools, 
and devoted a large portion of the document to the Bank of the 
United States, denouncing it as unconstitutional and dangerous, 
and contesting the principles laid down by the Supreme Court ; 
and concluded by proposing a correspondence with the other States, 
to the end of securing amendments to the. Constitution. On the 
third day of that month the Court of Appeals had given their de- 
cision, so that in December, 1819, the executive, judicial, and legis- 
lative departments of Kentucky concurred with almost perfect 
unanimity in the opinion that the bank was unconstitutional, and 
its estabbshment a dangerous usurpation. 

But the legislative mind was engrossed by a subject of more 
immediate interest. The cry for relief had now become overwhelm- 
ing ; but there was great diversity of views as to the mode in 
which relief should be given. The legislature began by passing, 
on the 15th of December, an act suspending for sixty days all sales 
under executions issued on judgments, decrees, and replevin bonds, 
on the defendant's giving bond to have the property which might 
have been levied upon forthcoming at the end of that term. This 
act was vetoed by the acting governor, on the ground that it was a 
violation of that provision of the Constitution of Kentucky which 



228 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

declared that " right and justice shall be administered without sale, 
denial, or delay." Also, that it was inequitable 'and unjust in de- 
claring that securities in existing replevin and forthcoming bonds 
should not be released by this interposition. It was, however, 
passed over his veto by the constitutional majority of all the mem- 
bers elected to each house of the General Assembly. 

The independent banks, established two years before, had become 
unpopular, owing to the general impression, no doubt to some ex- 
tent just, that by fostering speculation they had increased, instead 
of alleviating the pecuniary embarrassments of the country, and 
the legislature, by a single act, swept the whole pestiferous brood 
out of existence. Some of them were well-managed, and judicious 
men desired that such should be preserved, not doubting that a 
general sweep, making it necessary that all should take in their 
notes and collect their dues, would add greatly to existing 
troubles. 

The legislature spent several weeks' in attempting to devise some 
general measure for the relief of debtors, and finally adopted one 
to the following effect. They passed an act granting an absolute 
replevy of one year upon all executions issued, not only on origi- 
nal judgments and decrees, but also upon replevin bonds and forth- 
coming bonds already in existence, which delay should be extended 
to two years unless the creditors would agree to receive in payment 
the notes of the Bank of Kentucky. That bank had suspended 
specie payments on the 5th of January, 1820, and its notes soon 
fell to a discount of about fifteen per cent. 

By another act, passed at this session of the legislature, deeds 
of trust were put on the same footing as mortgages, so that sale 
could be made under them without a decree in chancery, thus sub- 
jecting them to all the provisions of the replevin laws. 

A resolute though unsuccessful effort was made to procure the 
passage of a property law so framed as practically to postpone in- 
definitely the sale of property under execution, and thus prevent 
the collection of debts. 

At this session of the legislature Mr. Eobert Wickliffe, from 
the committee to which much of the acting governor's message had 
been referred, reported bills providing for the annual payment of 
certain sums of money out of the dividends arising from stock held 
by the State in the Bank of Kentucky, to the Transylvania Uni- 
versity and the county seminaries ; also further to endow those in- 



VALUE AND A STANDARD OF VALUE. 229 

stitutions ; and also to appropriate for a school-fund all fines and 
forfeitures which were due, or might become due, to the State. Al- 
though Mr. Kendall did not like these measures in the aggregate, 
because they seemed designed to devote the public means, readily 
available, to the higher seminaries, leaving common schools to de- 
pend on a meagre and precarious resource, which could be made 
available only in the distant future, yet he advocated the passage 
of the school-bill in some shape. His language was, " It is no in- 
superable objection that no public funds are appropriated to this 
purpose. That object can be accomphshed separately, or at a future 
session. Let us have a beginning ; the benefits which will accrue 
to the community will insure the improvement and perfection of 
the system." 

Two acts having relation to education were passed, one of them 
entitled " An Act to endow the Medical Department of the Transyl- 
vania University," and the other " An Act to appropriate Fines and 
Forfeitures to the Purpose of promoting Education." 

The leaders of the Eelief Party in Kentucky were not satisfied 
with the measures adopted by the legislature at the session of 
1819-20, and continued to agitate the subject of a Property Law, 
in the hope of procuring its passage at the next session. Though 
Mr. Kendall was in favor of some degree of relief through a modi- 
fication of the remedial laws and a temporary augmentation of the 
currency, he beheved the legislature had already violated the Con- 
stitution of the United States and of Kentucky by interfering with 
sales under deeds of trust, and he feared more mischief still to the 
community from the passage of the proposed Property Law. Under 
these impressions he felt it his duty to avert the evil if possible, 
and entered upon a discussion of the whole question, — the source 
of value, the nature of money, a standard of value, the effects of 
a paper currency, and the operation of property laws. Denying 
that "labor" is the source of value, and treating "demand" as an 
effect rather than the cause, he looks into the human mind for the 
origin of value. The following is an extract from his first article 
on the subject, published in the " Argus " of the 27th of April, 
1820: — 

"VALUE AND A STANDARD OF VALUE. 

"What constitutes value is not generally understood, and has been 
the subject of much controversy among men of learning and talents. 
Some say it is the labor which is spent in the production of an article ; 



230 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

some that it is the demand for it ; while the people in general think it is 
the sum of money for which it will sell. All these notions are erroneous. 
Things have value, not because they are produced by labor, nor because 
they are in general demand, nor because they will sell or exchange for 
a certain number of dollars, but simply because men desire to possess 
them. Desirableness is value. In exact proportion that a thing is desir- 
able it is valuable. Things which everybody possesses nobody desires, 
and of course they have no value. Hence there is no value in air, none 
in light, very little in water, although these articles are as essential to 
our existence as food. Were meat and bread as common as air and 
light they would possess no more value ; they would not create desire. 
When Adam left the garden of Eden land had no value. The richest 
spots, or those most pleasantly situated or best cultivated, first as- 
sumed value because of the larger amount of sustenance they produced, 
or on account of the greater pleasure they afforded they became the objects 
of desire. Why are mountains of granite without value 1 Because they 
ar,e not objects of desire. Place one of them near a large city and it 
immediately becomes immensely valuable. A sandy plain has no value ; 
but let a city be built upon it, let the lots become desirable, and it im- 
mediately becomes a thousand times more valuable than the most fertile 
fields. 

" With regard to the produce of labor, value is generally antecedent 
to the labor of production. It springs from our desire to possess that 
which labor may produce. Were labor to fix value upon its products, 
everything on which much labor has been spent would be very valu- 
able. This notoriously is not the fact. A Danish captain once, with 
great labor, loaded his ship in Greenland with a bright sand which he 
thought contained gold. On his arrival at Copenhagen it was found to 
be mere sand and thrown into the sea. If labor fixes value, this sand 
would have been as valuable as gold. But labor could not make a thing 
valuable which was not desirable. Labor may be wasted. It may be 
applied to the production of that which nobody desires, which has no 
value. A man might spend years in setting out and cultivating an 
orchard of buckeyes, but he could not make them valuable, because no- 
body desires either the fruit or the wood of that tree. Yet the same 
labor might raise up an orchard of apple-trees which would be immense- 
ly valuable. Things do not become valuable because men spend their 
labor upon them, but men spend their labor upon them because they 
are valuable. As the desire for an article diminishes, its value decreases. 
Should a man set up a manufactory of hoops for ladies' petticoats, 
what success would attend him 1 His labor would not render the hoops 
valuable ; they would be worth nothing, because nobody desires them. 

[The reader will remember this was written in 1820.] 



WHAT IS A STANDARD OF VALUE? 231 

" From a desire to possess a particular article arises a demand for it. 
If the desire be general, so will be the demand, and they will rise and 
fall together. But the desire to possess an article, and, consequently, 
its value, are anterior in their origin to the demand for it. Demand is 
not, therefore, the cause of value. It is true, that demand and value 
generally increase or diminish with equal step ; not because the one pro- 
duces the other, but because they are both produced by desire, although 
value is the first born. A thing becomes desirable or valuable before 
there is a demand for it. The demand follows. If the thing be difficult 
of attainment, the desire for its possession usually increases, and the 
demand increases. ' But when the desire to possess it ceases, it has 
value no longer, and is no longer in demand. Writers who have said 
that demand created value, have mistaken the effect for the cause. 
What standard can be invented for the desires of men ] Can the neces- 
sities, the comforts, the pleasures, the fashions, the opinions, and the 
caprices of man be reduced to any standard % Are they not ever 
changing like the winds of heaven 1 ? Measure never varies. A yard 
is always equal to the length with which it is compared. An acre is 
always equal to the surface with which it is compared. A quart is 
always equal to the quantity with which it is compared. These lengths, 
surfaces, and quantities never vary or change. Therefore they may be 
reduced to a standard which shall be uniform and last forever. But 
does value never vary ] Will that which is now worth a dollar always 
be worth just the same sum 1 ? A yard, an acre, and a quart are always 
the same. But is it so with value ] Is a spot on the Alleghany Moun- 
tains as valuable as a spot in Philadelphia 1 A yard, an acre, and a 
quart are the same fifty years ago and now, in Philadelphia and on the 
top of the Alleghanies. To reduce anything to a standard it must be 
made uniform. How can value, which depends upon the ever-varying 
conditions, tastes, and fashions of men, be made uniform 1 ? Measure 
and weight do not vary with the varying mind of man. No whim of 
ours can make a yard less than a yard, or a pound less than a pound. 
Not so with value. Assume a dollar as our standard for a gallon of 
whiskey, and will whiskey always sell for a dollar a gallon ] No, be- 
cause its value may change, and then our standard will not apply, — it 
ceases to be a standard. The desire for whiskey may diminish, a gallon 
may become no more desirable than half a dollar ; or if the use of it 
were entirely to cease, the desire for it would also cease, and it would 
have no value whatever. To make a standard of value you must first 
make every acre of ground, every bushel of wheat, and any given quan- 
tity of any other article, at all times, in all situations and under all cir- 
cumstances, sell for precisely the same amount. There must be no such 
thing as profit or loss, or buying or selling. 



232 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

" We have said enough to show the utter impossibility of a standard 
of value, and that to talk seriously of any such thing is simply ridicu- 
lous. We may as well talk of a standard of hunger, thirst, opinion, 
fashion, caprice, and all those wants of the body and operations of the 
mind which make things desirable." 

His second article, which treats of trade, the origin of money, 
and a standard of value, is as follows : — 

"MONEY. 
" Trade is carried on merely by the exchange of one desirable article 
for another. One man has meat and another brea'd. To the man who 
has meat, a portion of bread is more desirable than a portion of his meat. 
To the man who has bread, a portion of meat is more desirable than a 
portion of his bread. To gratify the desire which is thus excited in both, 
the one exchanges with the other a portion of meat for a portion of 
bread. Both make a good bargain, because they both get that which is 
more desirable than that with which they parted. This is the most 
simple operation of trade. Each obtains what contributes immediately 
to his own comfort. But most of its operations are more complicated. 
Two men have an equal abundance of wheat, and one of them has an 
abundance both of meat and bread. He exchanges a portion of his bread 
for a portion of his neighbor's wheat, not because he wants it for his own 
use, but because he can exchange it with a third person for clothing. 
Here we have the first glimpse of the principle whence originated money. 
The wheat in this instance is equivalent to money to the individual who 
exchanged his bread for it, not because he wished it himself or because 
it was desirable to him on its own account, but merely because he could 
exchange it for another article which he could use, or which was desirable. 
Yet it is the desire of the third person which gave value to the wheat, 
and induced the second person to take it of the first ; and the second 
person desired to possess it because he could exchange it with the third. 
Whatever is received by one man for the purpose of exchanging it for 
something else, partakes of the nature of money. The more generally 
an article is exchangeable the nearer it approaches to money, and if it 
be universally exchangeable, that is, if every person will receive it for 
anything he has to spare, it is money to all intents and purposes. Money, 
then, is anything which is universally exchangeable. Government can- 
not make an article exchangeable, but it can reduce such an article to 
a fixed weight and measure, and thereby much increase the convenience 
of the exchange. Gold and silver derive their value from the universal 
source of value, — the desire of mankind to possess them. They were 
first used in the formation of utensils and ornaments. From their 
beauty and durability the articles made of these metals, and conse- 



WHY GOLD AND SILVER ARE CONSIDERED MONEY. 233 

quently the metals themselves, became highly and universally desirable, 
— more so than any other article of the same weight and bulk. Hence 
they contained more value in the same bulk, and were in more universal 
demand, than any other article, and hence they became universally ex- 
changeable, and assumed the character of money. 

" Government did not give them this exchangeable quality ; but find- 
ing they already possessed it, government took and divided them into 
pieces of different weights and sizes, putting on them certain stamps to 
designate their true weights and their real fineness. This saved the 
trouble of weighing these metals whenever they were exchanged for any- 
thing else, and guarded the community against counterfeit gold and 
silver. But these metals evidently did not derive their value from these 
stamps ; but these stamps merely designated the value which they had 
before, and rendered it visible to everybody at the first view. Each 
nation affixes stamps of its own, which are not, generally, regarded by 
any other nation. English, French, Dutch, and the coins of all other 
nations pass among us only by their weight and fineness. When these 
are well known, they are received for a certain sum in our own money, 
to which their value is equal ; but when they are not well known, we 
resort to the weight and fineness as ascertained by actual weighing and 
examination to ascertain their value. 

" Hence it is evident that gold and silver have become money, not 
because government has put particular stamps or marks upon them, but 
because they are universally exchangeable, and contain more value in 
the same bulk than any other article. These metals have been stamped 
to gratify the pride of princes, by presenting their likenesses to their 
subjects and teaching them a lesson of reverence for their king on every 
piece of money they receive ; but chiefly to designate the value of the 
metal which every particular piece contains. Other articles might be 
used for the same purpose, but with less convenience. The Spartans 
had iron money. To contain much value their coins were made of 
enormous size and weight. This article was not universally exchange- 
able, and of course they could not carry on trade in their own money. 
It was the object of their lawgiver to prevent trade. But it well may 
be doubted whether this provision alone would have produced so great 
an effect. In Mexico, before its conquest by the Spaniards, gold and 
silver were too abundant to contain great value in a small bulk. They 
were valuable, but not more so than would have been iron could the 
people have obtained it. Gold and silver were not coined by the govern- 
ment into money; but there was a valuable nut which was used among 
the people to a considerable extent as money. Among them it was 
universally exchangeable. Copper is used in many countries, and to a 
considerable extent in the United States, as money. 



234 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

" From these principles it results that gold and silver, whether coined 
or uncoined, contain nearly the same amount of value, and the only 
advantage which they possess over every other article is that they con- 
tain more value in the same bulk and are universally exchangeable. 
Gold and silver are not the representatives of property, but they are 
property itself as much as iron, brass, houses, or lands. A silver bowl is 
as much property as an axe, and the silver out of which the bowl could be 
made is as much property as the iron out of which an axe could be made. 

" When we exchange the produce of our farms or of our manufactories 
for eagles and dollars, we merely exchange one value for another. A 
dollar is as much property and more useful than a barrel of corn or a 
ham of bacon which we can never eat, because we can at any time ex- 
change the dollar for something else. Property is evidently not con- 
fined to that which we can eat, drink, or wear, but extends to every- 
thing we possess which has value. 

" Money is but a name for a particular species of property, — land, of 
another, • — wheat, of another, etc., etc. Because these articles have dif- 
ferent names they do not cease to be property. 

" We have already said that the advantage which money has over 
every other species of property is, that it contains more value in the 
same bulk and is universally exchangeable. 

" Any of the other species of property can always be had for money, 
but money cannot always be had for any other particular species of 
property. 

" Money is constantly represented as a standard of value. Nothing 
can be more erroneous. The value of gold and silver is less variable 
and less fluctuating than that of any other article ; but it is by no 
means uniform. Before the discovery of America the quantity of gold 
and silver circulating in the world was much less than it is at present, 
and its value was proportionally greater. But on the conquest of 
Mexico and South America by the Spaniards the immense quantities 
of the precious metals derived from that source in some degree 
diminished the demand, and, until lately, a diminution in the de- 
mand, and a reduction in the value of those articles has been, ever 
since, gradually progressing. This variation, although small in one 
year or ten years, has been considerable in four hundred years. Hence 
it appears that the standard of value, as it has been called, is it- 
self fluctuating. There is less value in a dollar now than there was 
one hundred years ago. The idea of a standard precludes variation. 
What should we think of a yard which was longer one day than it was 
the preceding ] What of a gallon that would hold more one day than 
it would the next ] These standards, as well as that of weight, can be 
made forever unchangeable. They are made up of divisions and quali- 



PAPER CURRENCY. 235 

ties of matter, not of operations of the mind. There is a difference 
between them and value similar to that between matter and mind. 
The former you can divide and mark by lines and bounds; but the 
latter is invisible, intangible, and not subject to human control. Until 
the operations of mind and the various causes which put them in action 
are reduced to fixed rules, value can never be measured or reduced to 
a standard." 

From Mr. Kendall's third article, treating of a paper currency, 
we make the following extract : — 

"Of paper currency, as it is generally understood, there are two 
kinds, — bank-notes and government paper. Bank-notes are the written 
promises of certain corporations. When men borrow bank-notes, they 
merely exchange their promise for the promise of the bank. When I 
borrow one hundred dollars, I give my written promise to pay that 
value of gold or silver, and receive from the bank the written promise of 
the corporation to pay to me, or anybody who may be the bearer, that 
value in gold or silver. 

" The advantage which I gain is, that the credit of the bank being 
much better established and more generally known than mine, the com- 
munity will more readily confide in the due performance of its promises. 
The advantage which the bank gains is, that it receives interest on the 
value which I have promised to pay while its own promises made on 
the same transaction are not performed, or, in other words, before the 
notes issued to me return upon the bank and draw out the gold and 
silver. 

" The other kind of paper currency is government paper. This is but 
an extension of the same principle. In whatever shape it may be issued 
it is but the mere promise of the government. It has no value in itself, 
it derives none from the stamp put upon it by government, but is a 
promise to pay the holder a certain value on demand or at some future 
period. If government makes more promises than it can perform, they 
become useless, and its currency depreciates. Within the memory of 
many men living, there have been two striking instances of abortive at- 
tempts to make the promises of government a circulating medium. The 
first was the continental money of our Revolution, and the second the 
assignats of the French. Why did our continental money depreciate and 
become useless 1 Because the paper dollars had no intrinsic value, and 
it was evident the government had promised what it could not perform. 
Laws were made to sustain it, but in vain. Had all the governmental 
money been made of gold and silver, would it have depreciated and be- 
come useless ? We all know it would not. And why 1 Because the 
gold and silver are intrinsically valuable, but paper is not. When the 



236 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

government gives the people a silver dollar it gives them something 
really valuable, but when it gives them a paper dollar it gives them a 
promise to give real value. If these metals and the paper derived their 
value only from being declared money by the government, a paper dollar 
would at all times be as valuable as a silver dollar. They would always 
remain a standard of value. But reason teaches that a promise is not 
so valuable as the thing promised, whether it be made by an individual, 
a bank, or a government. Not all the power of all the governments on 
earth can make a bit of paper as large as a man's hand as valuable in 
itself as the silver contained in a dollar. They may declare that it shall 
be a dollar, it may pass by that name, but it will have no more value 
than a linen rag. 

" From these facts and principles we infer that it is as impossible for 
government to furnish to a country a circulating medium which has no 
intrinsic value as it is to give the same value to a scrap of paper which 
there is in a silver dollar. Every attempt at it will end in public em- 
barrassment and loss.'' 

Mr. Kendall was diverted from his purpose to discuss the sub- 
ject of property laws on general principles, by the kirn which was 
given to the discussion by other writers. He had in a very brief 
article corrected some erroneous notions commonly entertained in 
relation to the execution laws of the other States, derived from 
speeches made in the legislature. The accuracy of his statements 
was called in question in a communication signed " A friend to 
Belief," which he published, with the reply, in the " Argus " of 
May 18th, 1820. To this article "A friend to Belief " replied in 
the " Commentator," giving a personal turn to the controversy. In 
the "Argus" of June 8th, 1820, Mr. Kendall responded. 

This " Friend to Belief " was, and continued to be to the day of 
his death, Mr. Kendall's personal friend ; but at that time he was 
hopelessly involved in debt, though the owner of much real prop- 
erty. He was finally entirely ruined ; and nine years after this • 
controversy Mr. Kendall, satisfied of his integrity, appointed him, 
unsolicited, to a clerkship in Washington, which he held to the day 
of his death. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

While Mr. Kendall was thus wielding his vigorous pen in the 
support of measures he deemed so essential to the prosperity of his 
adopted State, he mingled freely in society, evidently seeking one 
whom he could love, and whose love in return would satisfy the 
natural longing of his heart. The same discrimination and sound 
sense characterized his conduct in this as in other affairs. Fond of 
female society, in which his genial temperament and amiable 
manners made him a favorite, ready to mingle in the dance and 
contribute to the pleasure of others, he yet looked for more solid 
accomplishments in the woman who should be his wife. These he 
happily found in the person of Miss Mary B. Woolfolk, who, with 
her parents, resided at a small village in Jefferson County. 

In October, 1818, they were married at her father's house. 

The following have been selected from many letters written about 
this time : — 

FROM MISS MARY B. WOOLFOLK. 

Mb. Kendall, — I have perused the contents of your paper, and hope 
you will forgive me for having the boldness to write to you. But I 
write because I know what I have to relate I could not deliver verbally. 

Before I proceed any further, I must tell you that I have, an unfor- 
tunate brother and sister, — but you have heard of them, no doubt, — 
not capable of taking care of themselves, and it is designed by my 
father and mother for me to take them under my care at their death, 
if they should survive their parents. I feel it my duty, and never 
could be happy to see them anywhere else but under my protection 
after the decease of my parents. 

I wish not to keep you in suspense, therefore, if you think you can 
grant me the privilege of taking care of my unfortunate brother and 
sister, and also give them your protection, and if my parents approve 
of our attachment, I do not blush to say that in spending the remainder 
of my life with you my happiness would be as great as I could expect 
in this world. 

My father will provide for these children more liberally than the rest 
of us. I shall only have to take care of them. 

MARY B. WOOLFOLK. 



238 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

TO MISS MARY B. WOOLFOLK. 

Frankfort, "Wednesday Night, July 8, 1818. 

Dear Mart, — As John Russell will set out for home to-morrow, I 
cannot deny myself the pleasure of addressing to you a few lines. Per- 
haps you will think it improper for me to write you at this time ; but I 
cannot believe that it will be wholly unacceptable to you. Determined 
to enjoy the pleasure of the moment, I leave the question of propriety 
to be settled by those who would sacrifice to etiquette all the tenderest 
endearments of life. 

My ride from your house to Major Russell's was lonely, but so com- 
pletely had I left my thoughts behind, that when I arrived there I 
could scarcely believe my own eyes ; for I supposed I had not travelled 
half the distance. The next day I visited Newcastle, and yesterday 
morning arrived in this place, having ridden fifteen miles before break- 
fast. I found all well here excepting Bourbon, whom I did not find at 
all ; for he was gone to Woodford. He has, however, returned in bad 
health and worse spirits, and is now walking the room sighing and groan- 
ing. Is it not singular that so many of us double the miseries of life 
by sad reflections and gloomy anticipations, when by a little exertion 
the present moment might be made to flit before us on golden wings 1 
As much as we complain of the delusions of fancy, and the sad disap- 
pointments of dull reality, I sincerely believe that imagination creates 
for some persons more images of pain than of pleasure. We talk of 
air-castles which delight and deceive, but we might with the same pro- 
priety talk of fire-castles, which delude and torment. But of all the 
castles which fancy builds, those which yield us misery are the most 
useless and ridiculous. A reasonable being could not have any great 
objection to being deceived, when that deception gives him pleasure ; 
but there certainly can be no more striking example of human folly 
than the man who makes himself miserable by fancying misfortunes 
which he never felt. The true philosophy of human life — that which I 
have long endeavored to learn and will always teach — is to make the best 
of everything, laugh at misfortune, think of the pleasures of life, and 
forget its miseries. The person who can practise this in perfection may, 
with propriety, be called happy. But though perhaps as cheerful as 
most men, I find I cannot perfectly practise the philosophy which I 
teach, and caught myself sighing as I penned the preceding sentence. 
Do not, I pray you, apply all the foregoing lecture to my 1 friend Bour- 
bon ; for though his present temper has led to these reflections, he is 
generally far from being an unhappy man. 

I called on Lucinda yesterday evening, and found her quite disap- 
pointed at not receiving a letter from you. She said she was very 



MATRIMONIAL CORRESPONDENCE. 239 

angry, and would scold you severely in a letter which I suppose will 
accompany this. She would not be pacified by my telling her that it 
was my fault ; that I had returned to your father's much sooner than 
you expected ; and that you had not time to write. However, I expect 
her wrath came from no lower region than the tongue, and that her heart 

all the time beat as warmly and affectionately for you as ever 

My dear Mary, I shall wait with great impatience the answer of your 
parents. It is not so much that I have any serious apprehensions that 
their answer will be an unfavorable one, as that I may see you again 
and hasten an event which daily becomes more near to my heart, and 
more essential to my happiness. I will not say that I enjoy no pleasure 
when deprived of your society, for it would not be true ; but I can say 
with truth that in no other situation am I so truly and exquisitely 
happy. All other society has lost more than half its charms, and the 
scenes o f our walks now want your presence to make them lovely. I 
do not exaggerate, — these are the words of truth, if not of soberness. 
You cannot, then, think it unreasonable in me to wish to hasten the time 
when I can spend with you every moment of leisure. Blessed with your 
love, with smiles and approbation of your parents, and above all with a 
pure conscience, I shall be too happy ! But I may expect too much ; 
Death's cruel hand may dash the cup of bliss from my lips, or mingle 
with it a drop of bitterness. I will not think so, — it cannot be possi- 
ble. If I know myself, the man does not live who can justly accuse me 
of a single vice, and I am sure, the world can say nothing of you which 
can change my feelings. It is not possible, then, that we can be sep- 
arated ; but in a few days I shall see you, with permission to love you 
as much as I please. That this day may not be far distant is my most 
fervent prayer, and I feel a pleasure in believing that its approach is not 
a matter of indifference to you. I intended to write only a few lines 
when I began, and lo ! I have filled a sheet. Give my best regards to 
your mother, brothers, and sisters. 

Yours, with affection, 

A. KENDALL. 
Miss Mary B. "Woolfolk, 

Jefferson County, Ky. 
By Mb. Russell. 

TO MISS MARY B. "WOOLFOLK. 

Frankfort, July 12, 1818. 
My dear Mart, — .... I thought of you every minute, and be- 
lieved that I should have been half cured if I could have had so dear 
and affectionate a nurse. Still I had no cause to complain, for Bour- 
bon, who is in excellent health himself, was as attentive to me as a 
brother. But there was something still wanting, some person whose 



240 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

eyes would seem to catch and share my pain, whose tender solicitude 
would make me forget my sufferings in a feeling of love and gratitude 
to her who would soothe it. Were you ever sick far from home, where 
nothing but the hand of cold civility administered to your comfort 1 If 
so, you know my feelings since I have been in Kentucky, by sad experi- 
ence. If not, I leave the picture to be completed by your imagination. 
With the election and with sickness my time has been so much occu- 
pied that you will believe I have had time for little else. Yet I have 
examined the town from end to end for a suitable house, but have not 
been so fortunate as to procure one. There are two or three which can 
be had ; but they are inconvenient for me, and I fear would be not only 
inconvenient to you, but disagreeable. I fear nothing is left me but a 
choice of evils, so few are the houses in this place to be rented. Before 
this time I never felt the want of property ; but you have made me 
absolutely avaricious. I feel so anxious not only to satisfy you, but to 
place you in a situation superior to your most ardent hopes, that I 
would at this moment do anything which was not mean, dishonorable, 
or wickdd, to become rich. But as Heaven has doomed me to tem- 
porary and perhaps lasting poverty, I must try to make up, in affection 
and kindness, what is wanting in wealth and splendor. Your desires 
are not enlarged, and, possessing you, I shall wish for nothing but to 
see you placed beyond the reach of want. Let God but give us a com- 
petency of the good things of this life, — all the rest of happiness de- 
pends on ourselves. " From our own selves our joys must flow." I 
scarcely need assure you, that the few days which I spent at your 
house were the happiest of my life. I never before felt in its full lux- 
uriance the pleasure of loving and being beloved. Never shall I forget 
the moment when, on speaking of leaving your sister, you burst into 
tears. Dear Mary, those were precious tears, and sealed with drops 
more indelible than blood the obligation under which I feel myself to 
treat you always with the utmost tenderness. No, indeed, you shall 
not regret leaving the dearest, warmest friend and relation you have on 
earth, if the loss can be compensated by one at least as warm, whose 
happiness is irretrievably interwoven with your own. Yet I confess 
that woman risks much, very much, when in obedience to the impulse 
of affection she leaves those whose affections are interwoven with hers 
by natural ties for the uncertainty of a stronger and durable love in 
the bosom of a stranger. Many have wept that act of their lives in 
tears of bitterness. Many would prefer the once dreaded state of 
" single blessedness " to the miseries of a husband cruel, capricious, and 
improvident. I will not say I may be such towards you ; for I feel that 
it is not within the bounds of moral possibilities. But I may be unfor- 
tunate, — can you smile upon adversity and meet even want with calm- 
ness 1 If so, I shall never be unhappy. 



CORRESPONDENCE. 241 

July IS. My health is completely restored, and my strength fast 
returning. When I shall see you I cannot now determine, but it shall be 
as soon as my business will permit. For our marriage I would propose 
the week beginning the 13th of September. Should any other time be 
more agreeable to you, I will cheerfully coincide if it be not much later. 
I should prefer an earlier period to a later one, for I have no doubt that, 
before that time, 1 shall be able to make all necessary arrangements. 

The day of the week I leave entirely and exclusively to you 

Yours, with affection, 

A. KENDALL. 

N. B. Should you think proper to write me, it will be received with 
the warmest pleasure. 

TO MISS MARY B. WOOLFOLK. 

Harrodsburg, September 9, 1818. 

Dear Mart, — I am now in the court-house in this place reporting 
the trial of Samuel W. Daviess for the murder of Henry P. Smith. But 
little progress has been made in it, and I fear that I shall be detained 
here until some time next week 

I count the days and am eager for the arrival of October. It is 
seldom that I ever wished the hours "more swift," but now I do not 
care how speedily they wing their flight. I have been building a thou- 
sand air-castles for future life, contriving the plans of houses, yards, 
groves, and all the parts of a terrestrial paradise, in which I may live 
with an Eve who I am sure will not tempt me to sin. For the tree 
of knowledge of good and evil we will have the tree of love not for- 
bidden, but always free, always delightful, always refreshing. But 
I know " the ills which life is heir to," and how soon Providence or 
misfortune may kill the warmest heart and darken the brightest hope. 
Yet I am sure that whatever ills are reserved for us will be our mis- 
fortune and not our fault. I have not time for more. You may ex- 
pect to see me as soon as Monday evening the 28th instant. Until 
then, farewell. 

Yours, with affection, 

AMOS KENDALL. 

TO HIS WIFE. 

Sunday Eve, Frankfort, March 7, 1819. 
My dear Wife, — I never before was half so sensible of the truth of 
the old saying, that we never know the value of a good thing until de- 
prived of it. Would you believe it 1 since my return home I have been 
one of the most uneasy, discontented men in creation. I attempt to 

read, but cannot confine my attention to my book; I sit down to write, 
16 



242 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

but in a few minutes become restless and impatient, get up, take my hat 
and walk out to find somebody fo talk with. Though, as Guilford says, 
you sometimes trouble me a little with your questions, I had rather suf- 
fer — all, were it ten times worse, than my own feelings in your ab- 
sence. In addition to this, the negroes vex me. The coffee is not made 
in time, the dinner is cooked badly, the cow is not milked, the house is 
not kept clean, or something is continually going wrong and conspiring 
to trouble me. I have been more peevish these few days than since I 
was a pedagogue. Like old Darby, most heartily do I wish my Joan 
back again, and, if possible, shall be more ready than ever to excuse her, 
if she sometimes gets out of patience with the negroes. I never felt 
more inclined to write a very loving love letter in my life, but that would, 
I suppose, be a very vulgar, absurd, and unfashionable thing in a hus- 
band writing to his wife. Indeed, I believe it is considered by most 
husbands very vulgar or very unfashionable to love their wives, or at 
least to let anybody know it. Though I would avoid a childish expres- 
sion of passion or affection, yet I should feel it a sin not to love so good 
a wife as Heaven in its abundant mercy has given me, and I should feel 
myself a hypocrite not to own it. Ought I not, Mary, to be the hap- 
piest of men *i God has " kept me from temptation and delivered me 
from evil." If mortal man can accuse me of an immoral act, I do 
not know it. He has prospered me beyond hope in the affairs of this 
world, and, above all, he has given me for a bosom companion one 
whose breast is purer than my own. I do < indeed thank the .giver 
of all good for these mercies, and could I enjoy no better heaven 
than I now feel, I would consent to be immortal. Do you not join 
me in this feeling % Yes, I know you do. I know your purity, your 
goodness of heart, and your sympathy with all my feelings. Malice 
could not keep us asunder, and I am sure that friends cannot make us 
unhappy 

Your affectionate husband, 

AMOS KENDALL. 

TO HIS WIFE. 

Frankfort, September 9, 1820. 
My dear Wife, — You will see by the date of this letter that I am 
in Frankfort much sooner than was anticipated. The two letters which 
accompany this will inform you of my progress before I left Cincinnati. 
On Sunday evening last I crossed over to Covington for the purpose of 
riding a few miles that day, but had to wait for a gentleman whom it 
was necessary I should see. On Monday morning I started before sun- 
rise. Licking River divides Covington from Newport. The innkeeper 
told me this river was fordable, but did not give me any description of 



LETTERS TO HIS "WIFE. 243 

the ford, nor did I know that any was necessary. I put into the river 
with my horse, and had arrived within two rods of the Newport shore 
when he sunk down, so that the water came over his back. He plunged 
forward, striking the bottom with his hind feet, and reached the shore, 
which was so abrupt that in attempting to ascend it he fell upon his 
side, throwing me and my saddle-bags into the mud and water. I 
scratched out, and helped my horse out, but he, like an ungrateful dog 
as he was, as soon as I let go the bridle to pull the saddle-bags out of 
the river, took to his heels and made off. I followed him, with my saddle- 
bags full of water on my arm, crying, " Whoa ! whoa ! " most piteously. 
But it did no good. I then made across a point to head him ; but when 
I arrived where I expected to meet him he was nowhere to be seen. I 
inquired of some men working near, but they had not seen him. The 
morning was cold, and I shivered. I thought it best to seek for a 
tavern, a dram, and a comfortable fire, so I poured the water out of my 
saddle-bags and set out for a tavern. I looked into one, which was too 
dirty for me, wet and shivering as I was. On my way to another I 
heard of my horse,, which had been caught by a negro, without a saddle 
on. Another negro was despatched after the saddle, which he found in 
about half an hour, entirely wet and bearing sundry marks of bad 
usage. I at length took refuge in a tolerable tavern, took a stiff dram, 
found every thread of clothes I had drenched with muddy water, bor- 
rowed a pair of pantaloons, and had my clothes washed, dried, and 
ironed. My papers I dried myself. In about three hours I was again 
mounted and under way. Nothing in particular happened that day 
and the next, except that my horse appeared a little lame, got his back 
a little hurt, and I felt a little of the rheumatism lurking in my legs. 

Your letter I got after I had written, and just as I was starting. It 
almost made me cry ; but then I thought your apprehensions were wrong. 
There are troubles enough in reality ; let us make none by the imagi- 
nation. 

Your ever affectionate husband, 

AMOS KENDALL. 

TO HIS "WIFE. 

Frankfort, May 11, 1822. 
My dear Wife, — I received your short epistle this morning, and was 
glad to hear that you continue to mend. God grant that you may be 
speedily restored to perfect health. To go down for you next Saturday 
will doubtless subject me to considerable inconvenience. However, I 
will endeavor to do it. Have everything ready to start on Sunday, and 
let us come a part of the way on that day, and finish our journey on 
Monday morning. I shall not bring down any horse but the one I ride, 



244 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

and the boys must hire one or two, if necessary, in the neighborhood. 
Let them have all ready on Saturday night. 

You have heard all about the weddings before this time. Mr. John- 
ston got home this morning, and Sally Branham, with Thomas Smith, 
arrived this evening, — all well. 

Several of the members have already arrived, and by to-morrow even- 
ing the town will be swarming. 

I get more and more impatient of your absence, insomuch that I have 

become quite poetic. Were it of any use, I would apostrophize the 

sun as follows : — 

Boll on, thou glorious orb of day, 

Bid time more swiftly move, 
Chase pain with healing beams away, 

And give me back my love. 

My prattlers, too, with rosy cheek, 

Smiling around my knee 
So sweet, and Anne so meek, — 

Give, give them back to me. 

Truly on earth there is a bliss, 

Painless, without alloy, — 
Hearts that are pure may find in this 

A holy, heavenly joy. 

Sunday Morn, May 12th. A comfortable night's sleep has done me 
good, nor do I remember a single dream wherewith to amuse you. 
There is certainly a pleasure in the forgetfulness which sleep brings 
upon us, and I have often thought if death only brought the same 
sweet oblivion, it would not be so very terrible a thing to die. But 
probably the chief pleasure of sleep is the relief from fatigue and 
trouble which we feel while our senses are sinking into drowsiness, and 
the refreshment of which we are conscious when we awake. As to 
mere senseless oblivion, in which we neither think nor feel, surely there 
can be no pleasure in that. Hence death, considered merely in relation 
to our bodily sensations, cannot be a source of pain or of enjoyment. 
But there is another reason why mankind do not die with the same 
satisfaction as they go to sleep. There are very few who are sure that 
by a change of worlds they will be gainers. When we go to sleep we 
are sure, or at least think we are, that we shall again awake ; but when 
we die we plunge into that dark and fearful gulf of which we can know 
neither the nature nor the bottom. Doubt or terror seizes the mind as 
it is about to take the fearful plunge, and it clings to life because it 
knows not the consequence of losing it. Now is the moment when 
those who are sincerely religious soar above the rest of mankind, and 
feel a full reward for the sufferings and contempt which they have suf- 



A "WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT. 245 

fered from the world. Beggars become greater than princes, and the 
happy peasant in his cottage is elevated above the splendid monarch, 
whose pomp and glory but render him the more completely miserable. 
A right good sermon, on my word. I kiss your lips. Love to you 

and alL AMOS KENDALL. 

Mr. Kendall's comprehensive mind, always active and energetic, 
seemed determined to leave no branch of human knowledge unex- 
plored. From the investigation of every subject he would deduce 
practical truths, inculcating important lessons of virtue and 
morality. 

The following articles from his pen appeared from time to time 
in the " Argus " : — 

From, the Argus of Western America, of July 5, 1821. 

.... With regard to the future character and principles of this 
paper, the past is the best and truest criterion by which they can be 
judged. In some points we may have been mistaken ; but we have 
never advocated anything which we did not think right, nor censured 
anything which we did not believe wrong. Though it is our study to 
pay due respect to the opinions, character, and feelings of all men, it is 
our pride that we are controlled by none. Our friends know this, and 
our enemies believe it. With regard to general politics, it is necessary to 
say but little. The old lines of party distinction are obliterated. Un- 
fortunately for State rights and .the principles of '98, many of their 
warmest and ablest advocates have gone over to the enemy. The 
national government, particularly the judiciary, are making encroach- 
ments which are lightly censured or passed over in silence. The ex- 
penses of the nation, particularly in the civil department, have increased 
beyond example and without reason. The public funds have been 
wasted by being put into the hands of army contractors and paymasters 
without sufficient caution or security. Our foreign policy has too much 
regard to the objects and principles of the Holy Alliance to do justice 
to neighboring republics which have attained their independence and are 
struggling to preserve it. Manufactures are left prostrate, and agricul- 
ture suffers by fostering foreign commerce. Indeed, there is enough 
wrong in the national government to excite anew the spirit of '98, were 
not the people distracted with local disputes and borne down with in- 
dividual distress. 

Could we relieve the people from debt, enable them to live comfort- 
ably in single blessedness or enjoy the bliss of mutual affection in the 
bosom of a happy family, put their names to the subscription-list of the 



246 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

printer, and pay him with cheerfulness and punctuality, we would cry 
relief, relief with the zeal of Stentor, if not his lungs ; our goose-quill 
should work by night and by day, guiding many an arrow through the 
flinty heart which could resist a work so benevolent ; every quarter of 
the State should echo our voice, and ten thousand honest, happy 
mortals sing our praises. Alas ! we know the futility of such efforts 
and the wickedness of exciting hopes which must be disappointed. We 
might as well cry silence to the thunder, and bid the tempest cease. 
Things will take their course in the moral as well as in the natural world. 
When men raise their feeble arms and build their weak barriers, the 
flood is stayed but to accumulate a greater force and whelm them the 
deeper in the furious waves. To parry, to palliate, is all that man can 
do. So it is with the legislature. They may delay, may give facilities, 
but they cannot relieve. The people must pay their own debts at last. 
This truth should be impressed upon them, their eyes should be turned 
from banks and the legislature to themselves, — their own power and 
resources. Few need despair. Industry never died with hunger. 
Economy never went without its reward. The legislature can do little, 
— the people can do much. Let both do what they can, and our 
country will soon be easy and tranquil, if not prosperous and con- 
tented. 

Some are lost beyond redemption. They can be relieved only by a 
general bankrupt law, the passage of which rests with the national 
Congress, not with our legislature. Once we were bitterly opposed to 
this measure, but we have changed our opinions. Every week we see 
so many good and useful men lost to society and to their families, a 
burden to their country and themselves on account of irretrievable em- 
barrassments, that we cannot resist the impulses of humanity which 
advise that they should again be restored to life and hope. How can a 
man be placed in a more gloomy and dreadful situation as to the affairs 
of this world than when, through folly or misfortune, he has involved 
himself in debts which a life of labor and suffering would not be suffi- 
cient to pay. Wife, children, and friends, the three blessings which 
God in mercy sends to man for the purpose of cheering his gloomy pil- 
grimage, become a source of the most acute distress. How can he see 
her suffer in penury and want, who, with unbounded affection has trusted 
herself and her fortunes to his guidance, and is chiefly dependent on 
him for the rank which she holds in public estimation 1 How can he 
see those little innocents, whom he has brought into being, grow \vp 
without the means of comfort or instruction ] How can he see those 
friends who have lent their names or their money for his benefit, strug- 
gling with the tide of misfortune in which their confidence in his honor 
has overwhelmed them 1 If he be a man who feels, his misery must be 



EDITORIAL SCRAPS. 247 

most poignant. The most distressing feature in his case is, its hopeless- 
ness. Give him hope, restore him to his family, to himself, to his coun-- 
try, let him start the race of life once more ; perhaps he may profit by 
sad experience, make his family happy, and cause society to rejoice for 
the returning prodigal. 

This is the only effectual relief. Let the State support her banking 
institutions, thereby giving facilities to those who by a struggle can 
extricate themselves from their embarrassments, and call on Congress 
for a general bankrupt law, — no half-way measure peculiar to mer- 
chants and traders, but extending through society and comprehending 
every hopeless case of pecuniary distress. The burden of debt will soon 
be lightened or thrown from our shoulders ; the business and legislation 
of the country will return to their wonted channels, and all will unite in 
supporting and executing the laws, maintaining honesty and fair dealing, 
suppressing fraud and fraudulent transfers of property, while public 
morality and private virtue will meet with due encouragement and 
reward. 

These are our present opinions and the course of policy which we 
advocate. 

From the Argus of Western America, August 30, 1821. 

HABIT IS SECOND NATURE. 

Penn says we promised some " personal remarks against " him. This 
is not so. Such remarks were prepared ; but his own course rendered 
them unnecessary. They were omitted ; a statement of which fact is 
the only ground on which he predicates our promise. Towards us he 
used the lowest Billingsgate, the language of drunkards in their cups ; 
and, shameless as he is, in a more sober moment he became ashamed of 
himself and apologized to his readers. We could not sink the man 
lower than he sinks himself. Before we acknowledge him " worthy of 
our serious attention " he must show himself so by preserving his own 
dignity and regarding that of others. Till then, his javelin will but 
poison the hand that throws it ; and we shall treat him as we would a 
snarling brute, — provoke him merely that we may laugh at the folly 
of his self-destroying spite. 

From the Argus of Western America, September 6, 1821. 

Our last hit has provoked Shadrach to the utmost. Forgetting his 
promise to avoid personalities, he raves worse than ever. We begin to 
relent, — indeed we do. Perhaps it would be useful to take serious 
notice of him. Such an example might scare naughty children from 
vicious habits. A short history of his life would be a pretty little book. 
Perhaps we will undertake to write it. If so, the following may consti- 
tute a part of the 



248 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

TABLE OF CONTENTS. 

Perm's birth and parentage. — Why he was called Shadrach. — His mother's 
dreams bode no good. — Becomes a smart lad. — An apprentice. — Taste 

for sports of various kinds. — Residence at R . — Adventures with 

Mrs. . — Deserves a horse-whipping, but don't get it. — Becomes an 

editor, first at Georgetown, then at Lexington. — Disputes. — Their re- 
sult. — His wonderful courage. — Gambles. — Singular adventures one 
rainy night in Georgetown. — Turns merchant. — Breaks up his father-in- 
law, and causes an amiable family to be turned out of doors. — Adven- 
tures at Pittsburgh, Erie, Buffalo, and Detroit. — Is charged with attempt- 
ing to defraud the revenue. — Thrown into prison. — Returns to Kentucky. 
— Is in a fit situation to become a dependant. — Establishes a well-fur- 
nished printing-office in Louisville. — How the means were obtained. — 
Returns to wallowing in the mire. — Meets a leaden gentleman one night 
in a by-place, who knocks out sundry of his teeth, and convinces him that 
it is not always safe to meddle too far, even with a woman.* — Like Shad- 
rach, Meshech, and Abednego of old, he is cast into a burning, fiery fur- 
nace, not of real fire, but of whiskey, brandy, etc., in which, not like them, 
he is burnt up. — His epitaph : — 

This stone, though new, no news can tell 
Of him who haunts this mansion drear, 
Where'er he was, the world knows well, 
'T was always true that Penn Lies Hebe. 

From the Argus of Western America, September 13, 1821. 

SCHOOLS. 

.... What has Kentucky done to elevate the moral character of 
her population and promote true equality \ With a laudable ambition 
to further the progress of knowledge among her citizens, she has given 
lands to her county seminaries and lands and money to her university. 
From the miserable organization of the former, her bounty has been 
almost useless, and the latter has just begun to be useful. But what 
would have been effected had these institutions produced all the benefits 
which the legislature could desire 1 The blessings of education would 
have been extended to a large portion of our population, but an im- 
mense majority would have remained in the same condition as at present. 
Most of the farmers and mechanics have not the means of supporting 
their children in the towns, for the purpose of studying at academies 
or universities, and consequently they are effectually shut out from all 
the advantages which their more wealthy neighbors may receive from 
the public bounty. Did these classes of our citizens realize the wrongs 

* He was less fortunate than the editor to whom he alludes, who was driven from 
his horse-whipping purpose by an empty pistol. But Penn takes the purpose for the 
deed. This is as near the truth as could be expected from him. 



EDUCATION. 949 

they suffer in this respect, their voice would soon be heard in the legis- 
lative hall asserting their superior claim to the munificence of the 
public. 

What is it to them that our university and seminaries are liberally 
endowed'? It only widens the distance between them and the more 
opulent citizens. It adds the aristocracy of learning to that of wealth, 
and increases the influence of the few over the minds of the many. 
Can such an appropriation of public funds, in a country where equality 
is the basis on which the government is built, be either just or politic 1 
But we do not complain that the legislature "have done what tliey ought 
not to have done" but that they have " left undone that which they ought 
to have done.'" Instead of detracting anything from the universities and 
seminaries, we would add to their funds and their usefulness ; but at 
the same time we would take measures to raise the great mass of the 
people as nearly as possible to the favored sons of the rich, who enjoy 
the benefits of the public liberality in the higher seminaries. In short, 
we would establish a system of free schools, coextensive with the State, which 
should be open to the poor as well as the rich, and dispense the blessings of 
at least a common education to every citizen. 

It is in vain to say the State is unable to accomplish so extensive a 
project. The experience of other States shows that such assertions are 
not founded on fact. Massachusetts has a system which is supported 
ivholly by taxation. New Hampshire has a similar plan. Connecticut 
has a school fund of more than a million of dollars, derived from her 
Western lands. New York has a system supported almost entirely 
by public funds. Compared with her population, Kentucky has more 
extensive means for introducing and perfecting a general system of 
free schools than any other State in the Union. To show her abil- 
ity to accomplish this benign purpose, let us compare her resources 
which are applicable to this object with those already applied by New 
York. 

New York has a white population amounting to about 1,300,000 
souls ; the white population of Kentucky is about 430,000. The white 
population of New York is about three times as large as that of 
Kentucky, and the children to be educated are consequently about 
three times as numerous. The annual expenditure on this object 
in New York is now $146,000; by the aid of which 6,332 schools are 
kept in operation during a part of the year; in 5,489 of which there 
were taught, during the last year, 304,559 children. Our white popula- 
tion being but one third as numerous as that of New York, an appro- 
priation equal to one third of the funds there devoted to that object 
ought to produce the same effect in the State of Kentucky. Upon this 
estimate, $49,000 would set in operation and support, at least for a 



250 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

portion of the year, 2,111 schools, in which, according to the same ratio, 
there should be taught 101,520 children. There are in Kentucky sixty- 
eight counties, and this number would give thirty-one to a county. Tt 
is believed that on an average twenty would be sufficient for all useful 
purposes in this State. 

But Kentucky may do more than New York. In the commencement 
of this article it was shown that this State will derive a revenue of at 
least $ 100,000 yearly from the new bank. Instead of % 49,000, let 
$ 70,000 of this sum be appropriated exclusively for the support of com- 
mon schools. An average of twenty schools in a county would give 1,360 
schools in the State ; and % 70,000 divided among this number of schools 
would average $ 51 to each. In the Northern States, where this system 
prevails, competent teachers may be hired at $15 per month, exclusive 
of their board. At this rate, $ 51 would support a school nearly three 
months in each year, a period found sufficient by the experience of those 
States to give every child, the poor as well as the rich, a competent 
knowledge of reading, writing, and arithmetic, and, to the more studious, 
English grammar and geography. 

Is not this an object worthy the attention of wise legislators ] Can 
the profits of the new bank be more justly or more usefully appro- 
priated 1 If the friends of an institution which has already saved many 
of our citizens from impending ruin will now complete their work of 
benevolence by using its profits for the extension of light and knowledge 
to the poor and indigent, they will render their fame as perpetual as 
their motives are pure. And how can its enemies better compensate 
the community for the evils which they apprehend from this novel 
experiment than by appropriating its profits to the advancement of 
knowledge ] Let us unite in this great and philanthropic object. 
Should the bank fail, it will do no harm ; should it succeed, the mind 
cannot grasp the innumerable and lasting benefits which it will shower 
down upon this community of free men. 

From the Argus of September 20, 1821. 

Shadrach Penn, after a week's deliberation, has replied to our " Table 
of Contents " in a long article. We have perused it very attentively, 
and see only the following sentence which throws any light on the subject. 
In relation to his mother's dreams he says, " Suppose he (the ediior of 
the ' Argus ') had declared that during the night the monkey was watch- 
ing the wood-pile, and our mother dreamed the aforesaid monkey took 
from the above-mentioned wood-pile a small twig of hickory, and basted 
her son (himself) unmercifully." 

Now this is very probable, and we will put it in the book. Hast any 
more materials for the work, Shadrach ] 



"AN ENGLISH TRAVELLER" REVIEWED. 251 

From the Argus of Western America, October 4, 1821. 
AN ENGLISH TRAVELLER. —SCHOOLS. 

We have read with great pleasure a new publication, "Views of So- 
ciety and Manners in America," etc., "by an English Woman." So 
many illiberal slanderers from the " fast-anchored isle " have visited this 
country but to abuse it, that it is consolatory to our feelings to find one 
who has visited it but to praise it. The American reader will recognize 
in this book the features of a society and manners with which he is 
familiar ; but except a few errors in immaterial facts, the chief fault in 
it is, that it eulogizes us too indiscriminately. It is our intention in this 
notice not to give a general review of the work, but merely to quote a 
few passages in relation to general education. It was an American ship 
in which she crossed the Atlantic, and, of the crew, she says : — 

" It is worthy of remark that every man of the crew, from the old veteran 
to the young sailor-boy, could read and write, and, I believe I might almost say, 
every man could converse with you upon the history of his country, its laws, 
its present condition, and its future prospects." 

Again, speaking of Americans, she says : — 

" But there is yet a more important consideration, — they are their own 
teachers ; not only can none shut the book of knowledge, but, by an impera- 
tive law, it is laid open before them. Every child is as fairly entitled to a 
plain but efficient education as is every man to a voice in the choice of his 
rulers. In his minority he is, in a manner, the ward of the ruling generation ; 
his education is not left to chance ; schools are everywhere opened for him, at 
the public expense, where he may learn to study those rights which he is 
afterwards called upon to exercise. In this union of knowledge with liberty 
lies the strength of America." 

Here is praise too indiscriminate. What the writer says is true of 
New York and the more northerly States ; but we regret to say that 
Kentucky is not entitled to one word of it. "A plain but efficient 
education," " schools everywhere open at the public expense," have 
engaged no part of the attention of our rulers. The education of the 
young and poor children is " left to chance," and is often totally neg- 
lected. Why will not our legislators, when it is so completely within 
their power, merit the encomiums which are thus liberally bestowed on 
our country] The following extract is of the same character as the 
preceding : — 

" The State of Connecticut has appropriated a fund of a million and a half 
of dollars to the support of public schools. In Vermont a certain portion of 
land has been laid off in every township, whose proceeds are devoted to the 
same purpose. In the other States every township taxes itself to such amount 
as is necessary to defray the expense of schools, which teach reading, writing, 



252 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

and arithmetic to the whole population. In larger towns these schools teach 
geography and the rudiments of Latin. These establishments, supported at 
the public expense, are open to the whole youth, male and female, of the 
country.'' 

None of this general eulogium on our country belongs to Kentucky. 
We have no lands, no taxes, no public funds, whose proceeds are applied 
to the support of schools " open to the whole youth of the country." 
Equally great is the error of this liberal traveller, in relation to our 
young but rich State, when she says : — 

" The child of every citizen, male or female, white or black, is entitled by 
right to a plain education ; and funds sufficient to defray the expense of his 
instruction are raised either from public lands appropriated to the purpose, or 
by taxes, sometimes imposed by the legislature and sometimes by the diil'erent 
townships." 

So far from having provided for the education of black children, we 
have done nothing for the white. In the following extract the writer 
has herself discriminated between different portions of our country : — 

" In the education of women, New England seems hitherto to have been 
peculiarly liberal. The ladies of the Eastern States are frequently possessed 
of the most solid acquirements, the modern and even the dead languages, and 
a wide scope of reading ; the consequence is, that their manners have the 
character of being more composed than those of my gay young friends in this 
quarter (New York)." 

We will not undertake to say whether the preferences thus given to 
the women of New England, in point of education, be correct or not ; but 
if the State of Kentucky shall hereafter be outdone by any State in the 
Union, either in the education of males or females, her legislators will 
be deficient in the duties which they owe to a liberal, rich, and growing 
community. 

From the Argus, dated October 11, 1821. 

OHIO AND THE FEDERAL COURT. 

Our expression of satisfaction, in a former paper, relative to the 
manner in which the United States Bank had recovered the money col- 
lected from her by the State of Ohio as a tax, must not be understood 
as approving the decision of the court, but merely the peaceable manner 
in which its decrees were executed. 

We are not ready to admit that the United States can rightfully, for 
any cause or under any pretence, by the authority of the President, of 
Congress, or the Federal Court, seize the keys of the State treasuries, 
enter their vaults, and take therefrom money which has been collected 
as a State tax, rightfully or wrongfully. The outrage is as great as if 



HOW TO RESIST CONSOLIDATION. 253 

State officers were to seize the keys of the National treasury and take 
therefrom, under the authority of any State, money which had been col- 
lected of its citizens as a national tax. According to our understanding 
of the Constitution, the States are as independent and uncontrollable in 
their power of taxation, both as to its objects and amounts, as the 
nation itself, excepting only in relation to imports. The nation has put 
her hand into the treasury of Ohio, and taken thence money collected 
by that State as taxes. We admire the calm and prudent temper of 
the people which could suffer the outrage in peace. It redounds to 
their eternal honor. The States can vindicate their rights without 
violence. The national government is their creature ; they made and 
can mould it to suit their will. If the President, Congress, or the 
judiciary transcend their powers, they can be hurled from office, or the 
Constitution can be amended. He, therefore, who would use violence 
in opposition to the national authorities, is guilty of a crime worse than 
the usurpation he would resist. Violence would destroy the system 
which usurpation only impairs. 

How shall the States resist the consolidating tendency of our national 
government, which the decisions of the Federal courts are annually 
making more apparent 1 Shall they permit the centre to attract and 
consume those glorious orbs which it was destined to enlighten and 
cherish % Few doubt the integrity of the Federal judges. But they 
are men. Did they not lean towards the source whence they derive 
power and receive support, they would not be human. Experience has 
shown that, however honest, they are not the proper tribunal to decide, 
where national and State powers come in conflict. They are one party. 
How can one party in a suit be an impartial judge ] 

When the President or Congress violate State rights, the people can 
turn them out. But how can they correct the national judiciary] 
That department is beyond their controlling hand. Even its errors are 
sacred. Nothing but corruption can expose their ermine to the vulgar 
touch. The public voice may cause them to pause for a while, but it 
cannot disarm them. The only mode for effectually correcting an 
erring judiciary is by amending the Constitution. But' the fabric raised 
by Washington, Franklin, and their associates should be touched with 
reverence, and amended with caution. Derangement in its well-adjusted 
parts might produce greater evils than those which we now dread. But 
there seems to be one thing wanting, — a tribunal with acknowledged 
power to determine in the last resort on the line which separates 
national and State authority. Might not a tribunal be established, to 
constitute which each State should appoint and pay one judge, the sole 
province of which should be to decide on appeals from the Federal or 
State courts where the question involved the constitutional rights of 
either government in relation to the other? 



254 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

From the Argus of February 14, 1822. 

We congratulate the editors of the " National Intelligencer " on the 
abatement of those gloomy forebodings which had given such a " sooty " 
appearance to the columns of their journal. To them the relief must 
be doubly welcome, as, by the indisposition of the members of Congress 
to make a nomination for the next Presidency, their own fears are en- 
tirely dissipated, and the people are rescued from that dangerous ex- 
pedient which they had recommended. We are now told that there will 
be no caucus at Washington. This is well. We send men to Washing- 
ton, not to make Presidents, but to make laws. 

By some of the Eastern papers, favorable to the usual succession, 
hopes are expressed that the discussion in relation to the Presidency 
may still be suppressed. Mr. Walsh, editor of the " National Gazette," 
suggests that the printers ought to do it by refusing to publish articles 
on this subject. Indeed ! Shall the printers conspire to suppress the 
discussion of a subject so important to the people 1 We caution our 
brethren of the type against being deluded by these lords of tlie press. 
There is a design in their efforts. They wish a President elected with- 
out discussion. They do not wish to see a lively interest excited in the 
country, by which they have much to lose and nothing to gain. To us 
a discussion appears necessary, even now. The minds of the people should 
be led to consider a Secretary of State as having no greater pretensions 
to the office of President than any other citizen. The charm of suc- 
cession should give way to the right of unbiased election. No man 
should be considered a candidate by virtue of the office which he holds, 
but all should stand upon the level of equality. Is it so now 1 Do we 
not look upon the Secretary of State as a candidate for the Presidency 
from the moment of his appointment 1 Does not this appointment give 
him an advantage over every other candidate 1 Does not the impres- 
sion that the present Secretary is to be the next President gain strength 
at every term ? Where will it end 1 If not impaired by discussion and 
competition, will it not result in the uniform choice of the Secretary of 
State to the Presidency, without opposition, by which means each Presi- 
dent will appoint his successor. 

Every person acquainted with history, or the mind of man, will see 
the danger to which the silence of the press must inevitably expose us. 
Originally, a man ought not to have been elected to the Presidency or 
rejected because he was Secretary of State. But at this time, when 
this principle of succession has taken so strong a hold, the friend of our 
institutions will rather oppose than support the man who fills that 
office. Of the present Secretary we can only say, that we have always 
viewed him as a mild Federalist, who ought sooner to be trusted than 



COMMON SCHOOLS. 255 

some apostate Republicans. That he would not go -with Otis and Co., 
in efforts to destroy his country, is an argument in favor of his honesty, 
but not of his correct principles. His father, John Adams, was as true 
a patriot as the Revolution produced ; but was he a good President 1 
To his son we have no enmity ; but among those spoken of at present 
he is not our choice, and the station he holds does not lessen our ob- 
jections. 

With these views, it seems to us important that there should be a 
discussion in relation to the next Presidency, even now. It is not too 
early for the people to consider whether they will permit the custom 
of elevating the Secretary of State to the Presidency to become a 
laiv ; whether all the Presidents ought to be elected from the North 
or the South, from Virginia or Massachusetts, or whether this honor 
shall sometimes be conferred upon the Middle or the West, upon 
New York, Pennsylvania, Carolina, Georgia, Ohio, or even Kentucky. 
In fine, every topic connected with this election, except, perhaps, the 
personal merits or demerits of the supposed candidates, are proper 
subjects for present discussion. Whatever, therefore, may be the 
course adopted by Messrs. Gales and Seaton, or by Mr. Walsh, our 
paper, even though it expose us to the charge of singularity, will re- 
main open to this discussion. 

From the Argus of March 21, 1822. 
-COMMON SCHOOLS. 
The following circular has been prepared by the commissioners ap- 
pointed by the last legislature to collect information and digest a system 
of schools. It is to be addressed to individuals in the various counties, 
and is published by request of the commissioners, with an earnest solici- 
tation on their part that all persons throughout the State who feel in- 
terested in this important subject, will join in communicating to them 
the desired information, without a more particular application. 

CIRCULAR. 

g m _ You are already apprised of the proceedings of our legislature at 
their last session, on the subject of education. We are appointed commis- 
sioners to collect information and digest a system for carrying into effect the 
benevolent purposes and munificent appropriations of the representatives of 
the people in relation to this important class of our common interests. Be- 
lieving you to be friendly to the object, and willing to contribute whatever 
may be in your power to its accomplishment, we take the liberty of address- 
ing to you this circular, and of calling to your attention the questions that are 
subjoined. Any information that you may be able to give will be gratefully 
received and faithfully employed. Letters may be directed to the commis- 



256 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

sioner living within your district. We ask as early communications upon 

this subject as your convenience 'will permit. With great regard, we are, sir, 

yours, 

W. T. BARRY, Chairman. 
D. R. MURRAY, 
JOHN POPE, 
D. WHITE, 

J. R. WITHERSPOON, 
W. R. ROPER. 
March, 1822. 

QUESTIONS. 

1. Has any county seminary been established in your county ? 

2. If so, what endowments has it received, and what is the present situation 
of its funds and buildings ? 

3. Is any teacher employed therein under the control or superintendence of 
the trustees? 

4. What number of students are taught thereat, and at what price for each 
branch of knowledge ? 

5. Are there any academies in your county, established by law or otherwise, 
and what are their endowments ? 

6. Have they buildings ? 

7. What teachers are employed therein ; what number of pupils are taught, 
and at what price for each branch of knowledge ? 

8. What number of common schools are now or usually taught in your 
county ? 

9. What number of children are taught therein, and what is the price of 
tuition ? 

10. What is the probable number of children who are growing up in your 
county without being sent to school ? 

11. What is the probable number of those whose parents are unable to give 
them a common-school education ? 

12. What is the size of the school districts into which your county has been 
laid off by the county court ? 

13. If a school were placed near the centre of each district, would it be 
practicable for all the children to attend it ? 

14. If not, how many would be excluded ? 

15. Could your county be otherwise districted so as better to accommodate 
those who would be sent to school ? 

16. Calculating from the usual number of children taught in the seminary, 
academies, and common schools, and the known prices of tuition, what is the 
probable sum paid annually in your county for the education of children ? 

To facilitate the collection of information, the State has been divided 
by the commissioners into five districts, and all letters should be directed 
to the commissioner residing in the district where the letter is written. 

Any information, whether in relation to the condition of this State 
or the systems which have been adopted in other States, may also be 
communicated to Wm. T. Barry, Esq., Chairman of the Board, at 
Lexington. • 



COMMON SCHOOLS. 257 

As this is a subject of the utmost consequence, and as the accom- 
plishment of the benevolent views of the last legislature will create an 
era in the history of Kentucky, not to be equalled in true glory by the 
most splendid military achievement, we earnestly hope that every citi- 
zen will feel interested in collecting the desired information, and will 
contribute his mite to the mass of intelligence which is essential to the 
framing of a system which shall realize the expectations of the legis- 
lature and the hopes of the country. The more minute the information, 
the less liable will the commissioners be to adopt erroneous principles 
and make false calculations. 

To show what may be effected in the collection of information, we 
shall endeavor to procure and publish all the particulars on which the 
commissioners desire to be informed, so far as respects the county of 
Franklin. 



CHAPTEE IX. 

From the Argus of January 30, 1823. 
TO THE PUBLIC. 

The undersigned have become sole proprietors of the " Argus " print- 
ing establishment, and this paper will be henceforth published by Ken- 
dall and Meriwether. 

In relation to the principles which will govern our future course, it is 
not necessary to say much, because our political opinions are well known. 
The only charge we have lately heard against the " Argus " is, that it is 
too democratic. If we err at all, we prefer erring on that side, because 
it is the safest. The people had better have too much power than too 
little, because it is very easy to delegate power to our rulers, but not so 
easy to resume it. In all contests for power, therefore, where there is 
reasonable ground to doubt, we always have been, now are, and doubt 
not always shall be, in favor of leaving the contested power with the 
people. Nor shall we be deterred by any temporary loss or inconven- 
ience from discussing principles freely and boldly; because we are 
satisfied that in the end " Honesty is the best policy." 

But we have been editors so long to little purpose if we have learned 
nothing from experience. We are convinced that mere personal vituper- 
ation not only does no good, but degrades the press and lessens its 
beneficial influence on the community. Human nature is so prone to 
return abuse for abuse, with interest too, that it requires great com- 
mand of one's temper to restrain it. But we are determined to make 
the effort, and, if possible, to preserve perfect decorum of language, 
whatever may be the provocation or whoever may offer it. Let it not 
be understood, however, that we shall suffer ourselves to be abused in 
silence. To repel the blackguard, it is not necessary to descend to his 
level. 

As our individual attention will be bestowed upon this establishment, 



THE BIBLE. 259 

we shall give a greater variety to our articles, both original and selected, 
than they have heretofore possessed. Not only politics, but agriculture, 
manufactures, commerce, education, literature, anecdote, poetry, moral- 
ity, and religion will claim a considerable share of our attention. The 
longer we live, the stronger becomes our conviction that society cannot 
exist in a civilized state unless it be deeply imbued with the principles 
of religion. The promotion of that which constitutes the basis of all our 
social enjoyments, even by means of a common newspaper, cannot be 
wrong or impolitic. 

We have some enemies. Our errors have been magnified into crimes, 
and our mistakes into wilful falsehoods. This is to be expected when- 
ever we chance to run athwart the course of ambitious men. In the 
heat of controversy, however, we have been carried further than was 
justified by prudence or propriety. Like other men we cannot divest 
ourselves of human passions, and therefore we dare not promise that we 
will not hereafter be led astray. But, whenever convinced that we have, 
through misinformation, passion, or prejudice wronged any man, we 
shall not hesitate to do him justice, whatever may be thought or said 
by men who think it more honorable to stick to an error than to acknowl- 
edge it. Some of those who have shown themselves our enemies, we 
esteem, in the main, as honest men, and capable of being serviceable to 
the public ; and whenever a proper opportunity offers, we shall show 
that we are not actuated by such feelings as they are. Though we can- 
not hope, so long as we are obliged to mingle in political contests, to live 
in peace with all mankind, yet we shall always endeavor to give no 
reasonable cause of offence. With this view, we are determined to 
avoid, as far as practicable, all interference between individual candi- 
dates, farther than their interests may be affected by the discussion of 
general principles. 

With heartfelt gratitude we acknowledge the favors already received 
from the people and legislature of Kentucky ; and so long as we remain 
honest and faithful we have no fears of losing their confidence and 

support. 

AMOS KENDALL, 

A. G. MERIWETHER. 

From the Argus of February 26, 1823. 
SUNDAY REFLECTIONS. 
The Bible. — The institution of a Bible Society in Franklin County 
naturally calls our attention to this ancient and venerable book. There 
is no man, whatever may be his religious opinions, to whom the con- 
tents of this volume are not highly interesting. It purports to give a 
history of the origin of our race, of the destruction of mankind by an 



260 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

universal deluge, of the patriarchal and pastoral manners of the early 
ages ; gives us the system of laws, civil and religious, delivered to the 
Jews through the medium of Moses ; contains the history of that people 
from a single ancestor almost to the dispersion of the nation ; and relates 
to us the origin and progress of the Christian religion in its earliest 
stages. Merely as a history, it is therefore of great importance, and 
should be read with the utmost attention by every one who wishes to 
become acquainted with the events of antiquity. 

To the admirers of morality and singleness of character it is also 
invaluable. From beginning to end it inculcates the existence of one 
God, the Creator of all things, and represents him as delighting in the 
devotion of his creatures to his service, their kindness towards each 
other, and their honesty and sincerity in all their dealings. Humility 
and self-abasement are everywhere represented as among the first of 
virtues, and man is called upon to bring his passions and appetites into 
complete subjection by giving up those possessions and pleasures which 
are dearest to his heart. Under the ancient religion, he who could, 
with perfect resignation, see the firstlings of his flock and the most 
precious fruits of his labor offered up as sacrifices to his Maker must 
have acquired a considerable control over the passions of his bosom. In 
Christianity, too, men have to make these sacrifices, — not of their 
flocks or their fruits, but of their pleasures and follies. Nor are these 
sacrifices less painful to the human heart than the firstlings and first- 
fruits of the old dispensation. Perhaps it requires even a greater effort, 
a more perfect control over one's desires and passions, to deny ourselves 
the gratification of our propensities than to surrender the most precious 
articles of our property. Infidels as well as Christians accord to the 
New Testament that it exhibits a system of more perfect morality than 
was ever taught by any other book. He who uniformly practises the 
rules there prescribed for the regulation of our conduct towards each 
other, will not only escape the censures of mankind, but the reproaches 
of his own conscience. "Do unto others as ye would have them do 
unto you." Language cannot convey the sum of all morality in a more 
brief, simple, and forcible manner. For its pure morality, therefore, 
independent of religion, the Bible, and more particularly the New Testa- 
ment, ought to be possessed and read by every man who seeks to be 
honest, or admires that virtue in others. 

But the Bible has still higher claims to the attention and perusal of 
man. It is the source of the Christian religion, which changes the 
heart and renders men moral and good by purifying the source whence 
all their actions spring. Religion produces pure morality as naturally 
as a pure fountain emits a pure stream. The Old Testament gives us 
an account of man's fall from that state of innocence in which he was 



THE BIBLE. 261 

created, with many allusions to the future redemption of his race. The 
New Testament gives us a history of that redemption, and promises to 
man, in a future world, the happiness which he has lost in this. Almost 
every man who reads much and thinks much is religious, in theory at 
least. Some, indeed, disbelieve all religion, because they cannot under- 
stand its mysteries. As well might they disbelieve the existence of 
the most familiar objects in nature. Creation is full of mysteries, — 
by day and night mysteries innumerable roll before us, — we are mys- 
teries ourselves. Whence came man f Who formed his beautiful limbs, 
and breathed into him the breath of life 1 Who gave form and variety 
to his senses, organized his brain, and set in motion his palpitating 
heart 1 Wilt thou say, it was God ? If so, tell us in what manner the 
Great Supreme formed the first of human beings, and for what end 1 Is 
he capricious, and did he make man for nothing ] Thou who refusest to 
believe in mysteries, art thyself the greatest mystery which thine eyes 
behold or thy thoughts embrace. Why not disbelieve thine own exist- 
ence, and disbelieve even thy own disbelief, and think that thou dost not 
think, but that thou art all a delusion ! There are few who deny that 
there is a Supreme Being, and that he created man ; for to deny this 
would be to ascribe to man self-creation, which is not only a mystery, 
but a contradiction. If, therefore, God created man, he must, in the 
act of his creation, have exercised both upon his body and mind a 
direct and supernatural power. The very act of man's creation — an act 
which is proved by his existence — was a greater miracle than is ascribed 
to our Saviour in the New Testament, or to any of the prophets in the 
Old. Yet this miracle, the most extraordinary which the Bible records, 
is almost universally admitted to be true, even by those who reject re- 
ligion on account of its mysteries. 

For what end was man created ? Merely to grow to manhood, play a 
few pranks before high Heaven, decay and die ? A God influenced by 
such motives as the creation of an inferior being, would indeed be a 
mystery deeper and darker than that which shrouds the foundation of 
our religion. But this was not the design of man's Creator ; the world 
was peopled for some higher and nobler purpose. What was that pur- 
pose 1 It is man's felicity, both in this and a future world, — it was 
religion and the reward of religion. 

But some will not believe that God ever spoke to man, or held com- 
munion with his mind. Is there more mystery in communicating a 
thought to the mind than in creating that mind 1 He who made the 
mind could surely inspire it with a thought, and if the latter is too 
great a mystery to be believed, surely the former is also. Hence, he 
who believes that God created the mind ought not to think inspiration 
unreasonable, or reject religion because it purports to be a communica- 



262 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

tion from God to man. Why should not the rules for the government 
of a moral agent come from the being who created him 1 Nothing is 
more reasonable or would seem to be more natural. God is a mystery, 
the universe is a mystery, the creation of man is a mystery, inspiration 
is a mystery ; but the last is the least mystery of them all. Its mys- 
teriousness is not, therefore, an argument against religion, nor against 
its emanation from the Divine mind. 

These remarks are hastily thrown together for the purpose of exciting 
new thoughts in some of our readers, and calling their attention to an 
Old Book which. is too much neglected. If the religion of our country 
be true, it is a matter of the highest importance for every one of us ; 
and if it be false, it is the most moral and useful fable ever palmed 
upon mankind. To believe it can do no harm, and to disbelieve it may 
lead us to unimagined mischiefs. Let him who admits the existence of 
a God and the creation of man reflect, that he already assents to as 
great mysteries as religion presents, and that he can no longer, on that 
ground, refuse his credence to the whole system. But let him also reflect, 
that its beauties do not consist in its mysteries, but in its influence over 
the hearts and manners of men. If, on account of its mysteries, there is 
no ground to disbelieve it, there surely may be found in the beneficial 
effects which it produces the most forcible reasons to believe it a real 
emanation from the Great First Cause for the direction and benefit of 
the creatures of his power. 

From the Argus of February 6, 1823. 

OMINOUS. 

The late news from England informs us that a considerable squadron 
of ships of war is fitting out in one of the ports of that country for a 
Secret Expedition. In the present state of the world, and with the neu- 
tral professions of the British government, what can be the object of 
this armament ] There have been intimations in the English papers 
that Great Britain would not interfere with the affairs of Spain, that she 
would use her influence, if not her arms, to prevent the interference of 
others, and that Spain was to give her some equivalent for her friend- 
ship. What if this equivalent should be the island of Cuba, and what 
if to take possession thereof should be the ultimate destination of this 
secret expedition 1 It has always been the policy of the British govern- 
ment to secure all the commanding points in the commercial world, for 
the purpose of securing to herself the dominion of the ocean and con- 
trolling the trade of all nations. Next to Gibraltar, there is no point 
of the globe whose attitude is so commanding over the commerce of 
other countries as the island of Cuba. Look at the valley of the Mis- 



SUNDAY REFLECTIONS. 2G3 

sissippi and the empire . of Mexico, whose chief outlet to the ocean and 
avenue to the commercial world is almost in sight of the Havana. The 
growing importance of the countries, and their vast resources, will 
render the commerce of the Gulf of Mexico, at some future period, not 
less important than that of the Mediterranean. The possession of a 
point which will subject all this commerce to the control of the British 
navy, and, in the event of war, enable them to destroy it, cannot but be 
a matter of the deepest interest to the British government. It is much 
more important to our government, and they should spare no means to 
prevent the possession of that island by the British. They would 
doubtless render it impregnable, so far as that end can be effected by 
the art of man, and for centuries it would remain a thorn in our side, 
controlling the commerce of more than half the Union. It would be 
better for us that it were sunk in the depths of the ocean, or that it 
were possessed by the Algerines, or pirates ; for them we could conquer 
or expel. We have no desire to see this island annexed to the United 
States ; for that would give reasonable cause for jealousy to our Mexi- 
can neighbors. It seems to us the wiser and the safer course to pro- 
mote its independence, with a government confined to the island itself. 
In that case it would never be sufficiently powerful to endanger our 
commerce, and would be forever delivered from the grasp of Great 
Britain. In fine, its possession by that power ought to be prevented at 
all hazards ; for it would be almost as fatal to the Western country as 
the occupation by her of the mouth of the Mississippi. 

If, therefore, there be any ground to fear this event, we have a right 
to expect that measures will be taken to prevent it. 

From the Argus of February 10, 1823. 

SUNDAY REFLECTIONS. 

Religion. — A belief in the existence of a Supreme Being is the basis 
of all religion. This belief may spring from either of three sources, or 
from all of them combined. 

It is not reasonable to suppose that the first of men had no personal 
knowledge of the Being who created him. If he neither saw, nor heard, 
nor felt the Divine hand that formed his limbs and clothed his features 
in beauty, yet, when the senses first received the impression of external 
objects, and the mind awoke to intelligence, the new created being must 
have been conscious of the presence of that great Power which had thus 
raised him from the dust. That God would, after forming an intelligent 
being, leave him without a knowledge of the object of his creation, is 
not consistent with the plainest deductions of human reason. In this 
respect, therefore, our own reason entirely corresponds with the accounts 



264 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

given in the Bible. Our reason teaches, that God would hold commu- 
nication with man for the purpose of apprising him by what means and 
for what end he was brought into existence, and the Bible informs us 
that such was the fact. The first of men, therefore, had a personal 
knowledge of Deity, and could not but believe in his existence. 

The second source whence a belief in the existence of God may be 
derived is the universe. Whence came the world and all it contains, 
the sun, moon, planets, and stars 1 Did they form themselves, or spring 
into existence by chance 1 Our little earth affords innumerable won- 
ders, which nothing but Deity could frame ; but what is earth compared 
with the universe ? Many of the planets which wheel around our globe 
exceed it many times in magnitude, and the sun is immensely larger 
than them all combined. But the sun itself is but an unit among 
millions, but as a grain of sand compared with the universe. Look to 
the heavens full of dazzling spots which seem so small they are but 
a glimmer of light. What are they 1 The knowledge of man has not 
enabled him to ascertain. The most improved telescope — which presents 
the moon almost at our doors, gives the apparent size of that luminary 
to all the planets, and exhibits the sun as an almost unbounded field of 
fire whose unextinguishable flame is only broken by a few dark spots — 
is not sufficient to give magnitude to these twinklings of other worlds; 
so vast, so unmeasurable is their distance. All that these instruments 
can do is to aid the scattered glimmerings of other and countless lumi- 
naries, whose light the unassisted eye never caught and whose existence 
the mind of man never imagined, to concentrate and announce to him 
that there are wonders in creation which all his learning can never un- 
fold, and which even his imagination could not grasp. What are these 
lamps of night which, to the eye of ignorance, are but spangles to orna- 
ment a seeming canopy of blue which surrounds this earth 1 Learned 
men suppose they are suns, illuminating other planets to us invisible. 
If this be so, how vast is creation ! Suns innumerable, all have their 
planets wheeling around them, and all of those planets, perhaps even 
the suns themselves, are filled with innumerable existences. Who built 
and supports this stupendous system % 

Who prevents world rushing upon world, and sun upon sun, filling 
the universe with confusion and fire 1 Who guides the comets in their 
fiery course, and prevents their driving from their orbits and whelming 
in ruin some of those innumerable globes between which they hold their 
harmless and unmolested way ? He who can contemplate all this and 
not mentally, at least, shout a God ! a God ! must have shut his mind 
not only to the impressions of religion, but to the plainest deductions 
of reason. 

The third source whence a belief in the existence of a Deity may be 



THE DEATH OF HIS WIFE. 265 

derived, is the authority of others. Adam informed his posterity that 
there was a God who had made him, the world, and all it contains. The 
prophets and philosophers of old repeated to mankind the same infor- 
mation, all which is embodied in the Bible and handed down for the in- 
struction of all future generations. If we have confidence in those who 
have spoken, if we believe them to be good men, we must believe that 
they have told the truth, and that there is a God who has held commu- 
nication with them and made known his will to the. children of his 
creation. 

At this age of the world we do not witness instances of direct reve- 
lation from God to man. But to assert that they are not possible, and 
may not happen, is to strip Deity of his almighty power. The evidences 
we have of his existence are so conclusive, that a direct revelation is not 
necessary ; for he who will not believe them, could not be convinced by 
a voice from Heaven. Indeed, there is not one man in ten thousand 
who does not believe in the existence of God, and thereby give his assent 
to the first principles of religion. 

In the midst of his arduous labors Mr. Kendall was suddenly 
overtaken by domestic affliction in the death of his cherished and 
devoted wife. 

Five years of nearly unalloyed happiness had been theirs. Death 
had cast no shadow over their peaceful household. Happy in the 
present, they cherished fond anticipations of future joys. The 
blow was sudden ; scarcely did the stricken husband realize the 
sorrow in store for him before it fell with crushing force. 

In the " Argus " of October 22, 1823, is the following : — 

OBITUARY. 

Died, at the residence of her husband, in Frankfort, on Monday night, the 
13th instant, Mrs. Mary Bullard Kendall, wife of Mr. Amos Kendall, one 
of the editors of this paper. 

In relation to her husband, three infant children, an affectionate 
mother, sister, brothers, relations, and friends, this dispensation of 
Providence is a cause of the most poignant grief; but in relation to 
herself, her confident hopes in a blissful immortality make it a cause of 
gratulation and joy. It is not easy for her surviving husband to por- 
tray her virtues, her feelings, and her hopes. He cannot even find 
language to express with adequate force the feelings of grief, admira- 
tion, and even joyful confidence which agitate his own bosom. Were he 
to say he has lost one of the best of wives, the praise would be faint. 
She did indeed arrive as near perfection as is generally granted to the 
lot of mortals. 



266 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

Mrs. Kendall was the daughter of Mr. William Woolfolk, of Jeffer- 
son County, a plain, honest farmer, and was wholly raised in the country, 
far from the fashions and follies of towns. Though her opportunities 
were small, she had made considerable progress in most of the branches 
of a useful as well as polite education. When introduced into another 
and what is generally considered a more fashionable grade of society 
she readily accommodated herself to its manners without acquiring any 
of its vices. In relation to fashion, she was only desirous not to appear 
singular, — to excel in dress she had not the least ambition. She de-. 
lighted in no company except where there was an unrestrained com- 
munication of kind thoughts and friendly feelings. Speaking disrespect- 
fully of one's associates, neighbors, and acquaintances is a habit in which 
she never indulged, and when such was the tenor of conversation she 
sat in mute disgust. Her feelings on those occasions were known only 
to her husband, to whom alone she unbosomed her whole heart.. Could 
the tale-bearers, the retailers of scandal, the creatures who remark with 
bitter envy on the superior dress, furniture, or equipage of their neigh- 
bors, know with what feelings this good woman was sometimes obliged 
to listen to their conversation, they would learn a useful lesson. 

No wife ever entered more freely and fully into all the feelings, the . 
plans, and opinions of her husband. If she had a foible in this respect, 
it was too strong an antipathy to those who had injured or spoken evil 
of him. Much sooner would she forgive and forget any wrong done to 
herself. In the management of her household she was industrious and 
economical. She regulated all her expenses by the ability of her hus- 
band, and was more than content to live humbly, that something might 
be accumulated for the education of her children and the comfort of 
old age. 

In the management of her children she might be a pattern for many 
mothers. It was not her opinion that their manners, their minds, and 
their passions should be left to run wild until good sense or the effects 
of vice should teach them politeness and virtue ; but she thought that 
restraint upon the passions and desires should be coeval with the dawn 
of reason, inculcated by precept, example, and even correction, until it 
should have grown into a principle and a habit. What her children 
might have been under the management of such a mother may be 
imagined from what they already are. In relation to their education, 
it was her determination not to send them to school while she could 
teach them anything at home; for she thought that as much is lost in 
our schools through want of discipline in the range given to the pas- 
sions, and in the contraction of bad habits, bad thoughts, and bad 
language, as is gained by the increase of knowledge. It was also her 
intention that domestic labor and economy should form an essential part 



THE DEATH OF HIS WIFE. 267 

of the education of her daughters, and that they should be taught all 
kinds of household labor, from knitting and sewing to spinning, if not 
weaving ; for, said she, if they should be poor, the knowledge of these 
things will be necessary to their sustenance, and if they should be rich, 
so far from doing them harm it will enable them to know when their 
work is well done by others. 

Both she and her husband looked forward with fond and eager hopes 
to the time when he would be able to retire from active life and political 
turmoil upon a small farm, where, in the enjoyment of a competency, 
they might rear their children, receive their friends with hearts light as 
the buoyant morning and brows unbent with care. Alas ! how are as 
bright prospects as perhaps ever dawned upon mutual admiration and 
love forever overclouded ! 

On the 3d of October she complained of headache, although she 
appeared to be not materially indisposed. On that night she had con- 
siderable fever, but the next day and night her disease had not appar- 
ently increased, and no apprehensions were entertained that she was 
seized with the prevailing fever. On Saturday she became seriously in- 
disposed, and on Sunday the disease had assumed a dangerous aspect. 

Medicine afforded her but a temporary and delusive relief, and she 
continued sinking gradually until her dissolution, a little past nine o'clock 
on the night of Monday, the 13th instant. In the first part of her sick- 
ness she said it would end in death ; but as the disease advanced she 
drew new hopes from what gave despair to her friends, and expressed a 
belief that she should live. For many months before her sickness she 
had become thoughtful on the subject of religion, and, soon after she 
was taken, sent for Mr. Holman, the Methodist preacher in this town, 
and invited him to read the Bible, sing, and pray with her. She told 
him she had not sent for him through any fear of the result of her sick- 
ness, but because, whether living or dying, she wished to possess the 
pearl of great price. She earnestly begged him and others to pray for 
her, and although she did not then profess to have been converted, no 
one could witness the earnestness which she exhibited without believing 
that the gates of heaven would be opened to her. When visited by her 
sister and one of her brothers, she told them among her consolations 
that she was near possessing "the brightest pearl that ever blazed." 
Subsequently she expressed a full confidence that she was prepared to 
die, and a perfect willingness to undertake the dreadful journey. During 
most of her sickness there appeared to be a kind of wildness in her 
mind and manner, giving rise at some times to the most good-humored 
remarks, and at others to expressions connected with death and im- 
mortality of astonishing force and sublimity. It seemed sometimes as 
if the spirit were bursting its cerement of clay, and giving expression, 



268 AUTOBIOGEAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

by a mortal tongue, to its rapturous emotions as it ascended through 
the ethereal blue to the abode of eternal bliss. There, it is firmly be- 
lieved, she has found an everlasting rest in the bosom of her God, where 
she will feel no more sorrow, no more pain, where the only thought that 
made death bitter — that of her children — is turned into joy by be- 
holding how completely they are in the hands of that Being who does 
no wrong, and bereaves and afflicts his poor creatures for some good and 
benevolent end. 

Her mortal remains were carried to Jefferson County, where they 
were buried beside her dear father, whom, in her sickness, she once said 
she should " see shortly." Before her interment, an excellent discourse 
by the Rev. Mr. Holman had spread comfort in the hearts of her re- 
lations and friends. 



CHAPTEE X. 

The light in Mr. Kendall's household had gone out. A dark 
shadow clouded the bright visions of his youth and opening man- 
hood. A widower with four small children, he deliberately fore- 
casts the future. Self-reliant, resolute, and always hopeful, he 
determines to devote himself more assiduously than ever to his 
editorial duties. 

National and State politics, education, morality, and religion 
constituted fields in which his mind delighted to range. His lucid 
and terse style, his cogent reasoning, and his exhaustive arguments, 
attracted attention, and soon won for their author a national repu- 
tation. Few journalists have so suddenly become famous. His 
appeals were to the intellect ; he sought* to convince men by force 
of argument. He always had a powerful ally in the consciousness 
that he was laboring in the cause of truth and right. Eesting on 
high moral principle, incapable of suppressing the truth, fearless 
in the exposure of duplicity or falsehood, he was able to do valiant 
service in whatever cause he engaged in. Earely descending to the 
use of blackguardism in his paper, he employed ridicule and satire 
as frequent weapons, but handled them with wise discrimination. 

Engaged as he often was in acrimonious controversy, — for in 
those days Kentucky politics were of an aggressive and personal 
nature, — compelled to pass most of his time in his editorial sanc- 
tum, annoyed with pecuniary claims, physically weak, and anxious 
for the education of his children, he felt keenly the want of that 
sympathy and domestic happiness which for five years had been 
his. 

Mr. Kendall's second marriage took place on the 5th of January, 
1826, when he led to the altar Miss Jane Kyle, a lady twenty 



270 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

years his junior, whose parents then resided in Georgetown, 
Kentucky. 

The sun again shone upon his household. However boisterous 
the outer world might be, at his hearthstone all was peace. No 
important change occurred in his domestic affairs till after the elec- 
tion of General Jackson in 1828. 

As a correspondent, Mr. Kendall had few equals. Frank and 
honest in expression, mindful of the minutest details, choice in the 
use of words, he invested his epistolary style with grace and vigor 
hardly surpassed by the most eminent classical writers. It is 
doubtful if finer specimens of letter writing adorn the pages of 
English literature, even in its golden age, than the products of his 
ready pen. 

Subjoined are a few letters written to his second wife : — 

TO HIS WIFE. 

Cleveland, Ohio, October 25, 1827. 

My dear Wife, — I am here weather-bound. We have had rain 
more or less for five days successively. Last Sunday was the first of it. 
That day I rode twenty-nine miles ; on Monday came twenty-two ; 
on Tuesday, twelve ; yesterday I travelled forty. I have been wet sev- 
eral times, though not very much. Yet I have taken no cold, and am in 
excellent health. 

The distance I had to travel is much greater than I supposed. Ac- 
cording to my memorandum of distances, I have travelled three hun- 
dred and seventy-three miles, and it is upwards of six hundred from this 
place to my father's. The whole distance is not less than one thousand 
miles. Of course the time taken to travel it is much greater than I 
calculated. I have now been from home nearly two weeks, and it will 
take about three more to reach my father's. This will cany me to the 
middle of November. Then, if I stay with my parents two weeks, it 
will be the last week of November before I shall start back. Then, if I 
spend a week in Washington, it will be about Christmas before I can 
see you. The time I have been from you seems long already ; but what 
will it be before I get back ] I am sorry I took the children to their 
grandmother to stay until I come back, for I did not wish to trouble 
her so long with the care of them ; I wish they were with you. 

Be sure to write to me and let me know all about yourself. Do not 
distress yourself about me at all, for travelling makes me more healthy 
than the still life I lead at home. Since the second day after I started, 
I have not been the least unwell, and I think I look much better. I 



LETTERS TO HIS WIFE. 271 

have been looking at the lake this morning. It has been so rough for 
five days that no steamboat or anything else runs upon it. The wind 
blew almost a hurricane last night. It has much fallen ; but the waves 
are nearly as high as ever. I went to the top of a hill, just at the 
water's edge, whence I could see, I suppose, thirty or forty miles up and 
down and directly in front, and there the lake seemed to meet the 
clouds. The whole was covered with foaming waves, tossing and roar- 
ing like a terrible storm in the woods. Below where I stood there was 
a beach of sand upon which the waves dashed up two or three rods. 
Some distance above, the shore appears to be perpendicular, and as the 
waves strike it they throw their foam ten or fifteen feet high. I then 
went down to the water's edge and amused myself with looking at the 
billows dashing up to my very feet. By to-morrow the lake will doubt- 
less be calm, and then I shall start in a few hours for Buffalo. 

Give my love to your mother and Elizabeth. You shall hear from 
me again as soon as I reach my father's, if not before. Probably I may 
write you again from Albany. I hope on this trip to do something 
which will be very beneficial to me hereafter. I cannot bear to be em- 
barrassed in money matters, and if I can by any honest means extricate 
myself I shall not fail to do it. 

Your affectionate husband, 

AMOS KENDALL. 

TO HIS WIFE. 

Teot, N. Y., November 7, 1827. 
Dear Jane, — You will perceive by this letter that I am yet in the 
land of the living, though not at the end of my journey. I wrote to 
you from Cleveland, Ohio, and I wrote to Mr. Johnston from Rochester, 
in this State, so that you already know that I came safely down the 
lake. I know not what day my letter to you was dated ; but it was 
about ten o'clock on Sunday, the 27th October, that I went on board 
the schooner " Eclipse " for Buffalo, having been detained in Cleveland 
almost -three days. The weather was still stormy, but the wind was 
fair, and we sailed, during the rest of that day, at the rate of ten miles 
an hour. The night was extremely dark, and the wind blew hard, with 
occasional rain, so that we were obliged to take in a part of our sail lest 
we should run upon some island coast in the darkness. In the morn- 
ing there was an island right ahead, not far from the Canada shore. 
The wind blew harder than ever, and our vessel tossed up and down 
ten or fifteen feet upon every wave. I should have been alarmed, but 
I watched the captain and crew, and not perceiving that they were in the 
least moved I concluded there was no danger. They tacked ship and 



272 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

stood out into the lake. It now began to rain so hard that I was obliged 
to quit the deck, where I had remained most of the time during daylight 
to avoid being sea-sick. I had not been long in the cabin when I began 
to get sick. As the day advanced the weather became more calm, and 
we landed at Buffalo about two o'clock on Monday, having sailed up- 
wards of two hundred miles in little more than a day. 

From Buffalo it was about twenty miles to the Falls of Niagara, and 
I intended to take the stage and visit them ; but my sea-sickness had 
made me feel so disagreeably, and the weather was still so bad, that I 
determined to go on board the canal-boat and make the best of my way 
to Albany. I left Buffalo about dark on Monday the 28th of October, 
and arrived at Albany, a distance of three hundred and sixty-three miles, 
on Monday night last the 5th of November. This is the most com- 
fortable way of travelling in the world. There is in the boats a small 
cabin with windows, benches, and chairs, in which about twenty persons 
may sit very comfortably, warmed in cold weather by a small stove. 
They sleep at night in berths hung up by the sides of the cabin, which 
will contain twelve persons. If there be more passengers, they sleep on 
the floor. The berths are hard and not very comfortable. The boat 
moves so gently that you cannot tell, as you sit or he in the cabin, that 
it moves at all, unless you look out. We travelled about fifty miles in 
twenty-four hours ; but the packet-boats, which carry nothing but pas- 
sengers, travel seventy miles, I had pleasant company and a most 
agreeable passage, except that I had a terrible sick-headache one day, 
of which I was well the next. 

On inquiry yesterday, I was told that my brother George had re- 
moved from Greenbush to Troy, which is six miles above Albany, and I 
came here in the stage. But on inquiry here I am told he has removed 
to Catskill, which is forty miles below Albany. If I were sure of find- 
ing him there I would go down; but my information is somewhat un- 
certain. I am in this difficulty by not finding any letter from my 
father in Albany. 

TO HIS WIFE. 

Dunstable, November 15, 1827. 

My dear Jane, — At last I have reached my father's house in health 
and safety. I have found my father and mother, brothers, and other 
relatives all well, but so altered by time that there are few of them 
whom I should now have known. 

I wrote you, I believe, from Troy, N. Y. From that place I went to 
Albany, and after a day spent there went on board a steamboat for the 
city of New York. I arrived there, a distance of one hundred and fifty 
miles, in twelve hours. I found there an old classmate, and a gentle- 



LETTERS TO HIS "WIFE. 273 

man to whom I had letters. I spent one day there, and then embarked 
in a steamboat for Providence, a distance of two hundred and ten miles, 
which we passed over in twenty-two hours. A stage received me there 
and carried me to Boston, forty-five miles. There I had to stay a day 
before I found a stage coming in this direction ; but the day before 
yesterday I again started, and was set down by the stage about two 
o'clock at Tyngsboro, four miles from my father's. This distance I 
walked, and got here before four o'clock. 

I have had terrible weather for most of my journey. When I was in 
Troy and Albany the snow fell near a foot deep. The earth was covered 
until I came within fifty miles of New York, when it disappeared. I 
saw no more of it until I approached Providence, where the whole coun- 
try was robed in white. As we approached Boston it again disappeared, 
and the day I spent in Boston there was a tremendous rain, which ex- 
tended through the country, and left snow only in a few spots. The 
morning I left Boston the wind blew from the north almost a hur- 
ricane. The water dashed up on the wharves, and the sea was all in a 
foam. The wind was right ahead of the stage, and was so violent some- 
times when we passed over hills exposed to the north that it almost 
stopped the stage. Many trees and some buildings were overturned. 
At length it began to snow, and when I reached Tyngsboro it was 
almost enough to blind one who faced it. For the first mile that I 
walked I could hardly get along, was often obliged to turn my back to 
the wind to get my breath, and thought I should have to turn into 
some house and give up my walk. But after I had gone a mile I came 
where the wind was less violent on account of the woods, and finally 
reached home without much fatigue. I saw my father and mother 
looking out at the window before I got near the house. My mother 
knew me as soon as she saw me ; but my father's sight is dim, and he 
did not recognize me until my mother had said, " It is Amos." There 
were a few tears of joy at the meeting, but they soon passed away. My 
father is much broken. In addition to the dimness of his eyes he is so 
decrepit that he can move about but little. He is a little deaf, and his 
memory seems impaired. My mother is scarcely altered since I saw 
her last. She looks young and healthy. She cooks, washes, and does 
all the housework for my father and herself, and for such an old woman 
is remarkably active. My father' and she live in two rooms of their 
house, the rest being occupied by my brother Timothy. I do not think 
my father can live many years longer ; but my mother looks as if she 
might last^many years. My father is seventy-three, and my mother 
seventy. 

My dear wife, I hope never to be under the necessity of being so long 
separated again from you and my children. I should be quite happy 
18 



274 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KEXDALL. 

here, if I had you all with me ; but now I feel very anxious to be back. In 
travelling here I have come nearly fourteen hundred miles, and occupied 
within two days of five weeks. My journey back will be much shorter 
and more rapid. I suppose the distance through Washington city to 
Frankfort is near one thousand miles ; but I shall travel it in the swift- 
est steamboats and stages. When you get this, write to me at Wash- 
ington. There will, I think, be time enough then for me to get it. I 
cannot hear from you too often. 

I have had the worst cold since I left Albany that I have had these 
ten years. I caught it by staying on the deck of the steamboats to see 
the country as we passed. It has not made me sick, except that two 
or three nights I have had a little headache when I went to bed. It is 
now wearing away, and in a few days I hope to be clear of it. With 
this exception, and one spell of sick-headache in the canal-boat, I have 
enjoyed excellent health. God bless you. 

Your affectionate husband, 

AMOS KENDALL. 

TO HIS WIFE. 

"Washington, December 15, 1827. 

My dear Jane, — I arrived here yesterday in perfect health, and this 
day took your letter out of the post-office. You request me to write to 
you when I start for home, but as I intend to travel as fast as a letter 
would go, I concluded I would send one on ahead. 

A week ago last Monday morning I left my father's, and went to my 
brother Samuel's, who lives at Medford, five miles from Boston. I in- 
tended to take the stage for Albany on Tuesday morning, but had a fit 
of sick-headache on Monday night and was unable to start. On Wed- 
nesday night I went to Boston, and after going to bed and attempting 
to sleep, in which I did not succeed well, so great was the noise in the 
tavern, I was called up, and got into the stage before twelve o'clock. 
About a quarter past eleven the next night we arrived at Northampton, 
a distance of one hundred miles. The tavern-keeper told me I might 
sleep until one o'clock, and I paid him for my lodging and went to bed. 
But in half an hour, before I had got soundly to sleep, I was called up 
and again got into the stage. I had been stage-sick the evening before, 
and the loss of two nights' sleep had now worn me down very much. I 
was quite sick occasionally all day, but kept on, and arrived at Albany, 
or rather Greenbush, on the other side of the river, about nine o'clock 
on Friday night. There I met my brother John, who had come on two 
days before, and on Saturday morning we took the steamboat and went 
down to see my brother George, who lives forty miles below, at Catskill. 
I should hardly have known him, and he did not at first recognize me. 



LETTERS TO HIS WIFE. 275 

With him I spent the Sabbath, and on Monday again took the steam- 
boat and went down to New York. Finding no conveyance to the 
South until Tuesday noon, I went to my sister's, who is living in the 
city. At noon I went on board a steamboat for Philadelphia, landed at 
Brunswick, and rode across to Trenton, twenty-five miles by land. 

By daylight on Wednesday we started in a steamboat down the 
Delaware River, and arrived in Philadelphia about ten o'clock. My col- 
lege room-mate lives in this city, and I stopped on purpose to see him. 
It was not until Thursday morning that I found him, and after spend- 
ing a couple of hours most agreeably with him I took passage at noon 
in a steamboat for Baltimore. We landed at Newcastle, rode sixteen 
miles across the country to Frenchtown, took a steamboat again, and 
were in Baltimore about one o'clock at night. At five o'clock I took 
the stage, and landed here about ten yesterday. I have met here with 
a reception warm beyond my most sanguine expectations. Many men 
whom I never saw before appear to be my warmest friends, if it be 
possible that any could be warmer than many of those who know me. 
I have dined to-day with a Senator from New Hampshire, who was in 
college with me, and to-morrow I am invited to dine with the Speaker 
of the House of Representatives. I hope I shall be much benefited 
by my visit here. 

When I shall set out for home I cannot tell, but it will be some day 
next week. I intend to travel as fast as stages and steamboats will 
carry me. When I arrived here I had hopes of getting away in two or 
three days; but I think now I shall find it for my interest to stay 
longer. In my business here I am likely to succeed as well as I could 
reasonably expect. 

Sunday morning, December 16th. I was interrupted last night by 
the visit of several gentlemen, who remained with me till a late hour. 

My friends here say that I look better than they have ever seen me, 
and I think myself my health is much improved. I am glad to hear 
that you are so well and cheerful. 

I trust I shall have the means, on my return or very shortly after, to 
place my affairs in a more agreeable situation than they have been for 
some time past. 

I am concerned about the children, — not because I have any fears that 
Madison and his lady will not take good care of them, but because I do 
not wish them to be troubled with them. But it will be too late when 
you get this to do anything about it, if nothing has been done, and I 
hope you will let the matter rest. 

To. be with my dear wife and little ones is now the strongest of my 
desires. Whatever may be our troubles abroad, if we are prudent and 
discreet towards each other we may always be happy at home, which is 



276 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

the most valuable kind of happiness. It is better to have storms and 
misfortunes without doors and fair weather within than storms within 
and fair weather without. Nothing would delight me more than to be 
able to retire from the angry contentions of politics into the bosom of 
my own family, having little to do with the rest of the world. But I 
fear no such good fortune is in reserve for me. Give my love to your 
father and mother, to Sister Elizabeth, Alexander, and James. God 
bless and protect you. 

Your affectionate husband, 

AMOS KENDALL. 



TO HIS WIFE. 

Wheeling, December 26, 1828. 

My dear Jane, — You see I am safe on land, notwithstanding I have 
come more than four hundred miles in a steamboat. 

Armistead will have informed you that we reached Covington, oppo- 
site Cincinnati, on the second night after I left you, about nine o'clock. 
Understanding that a steamboat was advertised to start for Pittsburg 
at nine o'clock the next morning, I got up and hurried over the river. 
The boat, however, did not start until past 3 p. m., and I had an 
abundance of time to write you, but Armistead was on the other side 
of the river. I went to see my friend Guilford, and we walked up to 
the canal. It had frozen over the preceding night, and no business was 
doing. Nearly three hundred houses have been put up in that city this 
year, and they now suppose it contains twenty thousand inhabitants. 

At length we got under way. We had a mixed, but on the whole an 
agreeable company. There was an old lady who has lived about three 
years in Cincinnati, and is returning to Baltimore, who appears to be a 
Methodist, but I have not yet found out her name. There was another 
lady, about thirty-five, tolerably agreeable, who is going on to Baltimore 
with the old lady. Her name is Mrs. Jones. There were two young 
Virginians who have been travelling through the northern frontier coun- 
ties and visiting some of the Indian tribes. There was a Dr. Dougherty, 
who lives at or near Steubenville, Ohio, but formerly resided in Ken- 
tucky. He was a very vain man, but very simple, always serious even 
about the merest trifles, and seemed not to be entirely in his right mind. 
I was told he had once attempted to drown himself. There was an old 
Frenchman, by the name of St. Leger La Harpe, with whom I became 
partially acquainted at Pittsburg in 1814, who appears to be a man of 
great learning and much good sense. We had also three or four other 
plain men in the cabin, and a dozen deck passengers. We read some, 
talked some, and played cards some for our amusement. 



LETTERS TO HIS WIFE. 277 

Night before last our old Frenchman was very sick, and we thought 
for a short time he would die. It was discovered that he had a box of 
opium in his pocket, of which he had been taking liberally, and our 
doctor declared he was attempting to take his own life. On inquiry, 
however, I found he was in the habit of taking it every day, and became 
satisfied that he needed nothing but sleep to relieve him. But our 
doctor declared he would soon be a corpse, and kept hauling up the old 
man's arms to feel his pulse, feeling of his feet, and disturbing him in 
every way, until some of the passengers insisted that he should let him 
alone and go to bed. The old man's box of opium was given to the 
captain. In the latter part of the night I heard somebody up, and 
drawing aside the curtains of my berth, there was the old Frenchman 
with a jar of opium before him on the table, cutting some of it up into 
small lumps for the purpose of swallowing. I begged him not to take 
any more of it ; but he said he would take no more than he usually 
took. After taking a large quantity he again went to bed. In the 
morning he was tolerably well. He told me that trouble in his fam- 
ily had induced him to commence the use of it; that he cannot 
now live without it, and that he takes regularly eighty-four grains a 
day. 

In the morning he alleged that he had lost his pocket-book, with 
about $ 70 in it. We had a search, but nothing was found. 

Yesterday our doctor set out the table for cards again, but our old 
lady insisted that cards should not be played on Christmas. Finally, ' 
the young men made her a Christmas gift of their cards, and the old 
lady gave the doctor, who was the most forward, a very severe lecture. 
The balance of the day, until our arrival here, passed off in conversa- 
tion upon religious and other subjects. 

I am at a tavern kept by Mrs. Beck, a widow lady. The stage starts 
between twelve and one o'clock to-day, and reaches Washington in three 
days and a half. The river is full of ice this morning, and probably not 
another steamboat will come up. Kiss little Jane for me, and tell all 
the children their father thinks of them, and they must be good. You 
shall hear from me at Washington as soon as I get there. 

Your aifectionate husband, 

AMOS KENDALL. 

TO HIS "WIFE. 

Washington City, January 4, 1829. 
My dear Jane, — I wrote to yon a few lines, two days ago, to in- 
form you that I had arrived safely in this city. I have now had 
time to look around me a little, and form some opinion as to my future 
course. 



278 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

You may prepare your mind for removing to this city in the spring. 
There is no doubt that such an office will be offered to me here as I 
cannot in justice to myself and family refuse to accept. I do not yet 
know precisely what it will be, or what will be the salary attached to it. 
The only doubt of my friend is, whether it will be a principal clerk- 
ship with a salary of $ 2,000, or an auditorship with $ 3,000. Of 
course I prefer the latter, and it is the opinion of my friends that I can 
get it, provided I will remain here until the arrangements of the new 
administration are completed. Although I dislike extremely to remain 
from you and my children so long, yet the prospect of securing $ 1,000 
a year by it, for at least four years, ought not to be thrown away. I 
must therefore bear the privation of being separated from you until 
March, or at least until this thing can be made certain. I have pro- 
cured employment here for the intervening time, which will, I hope, 
yield me at least $ 300, and I have a prospect of obtaining business on 
my way out, which will yield me something like $ 200 more. My com- 
pensation for bringing the vote is $ 269, which is $100 more than I ex- 
pected, so that on the whole I hope I shall make $ 300 or $ 400 by this 
trip, besides paying my expenses. 

Upon the advice of my friends, I have determined not to have any 
interest in a printing-office here. There are many good reasons why I 
ought neither to have any partnership with General Green, nor in and 
way come in competition with him. But it is probable that I can get 
him to give me $ 1,000 a year for writing for his paper. On the whole, 
I am quite confident of receiving an income here of at least $ 3,000 a 
year, and probably $ 4,000. This will at once place us in more com- 
fortable circumstances. But, my dear wife, let us not think of being 
proud or extravagant. My first object will be to discharge my debts. 
That I hope to do by selling my Kentucky property. Our children are 
to be educated, and I am determined that shall be well done. This may 
all be accomplished, and yet we may enjoy all the comforts of life and 
all its pleasures that are worth enjoying. This city is the centre of ex- 
travagance. Many of the clerks and others, with an income sufficient 
to satisfy reasonable men, keep themselves poor by attempting to ape 
foreign ministers and the high officers of the government in their enter- 
tainments and parties. You may be sure I shall imitate none of this. 
I could show as handsome a wife as any of them, but it would give me 
no pleasure, and I am sure it would give you none, to make you a show 
at parties. So let us resolve to enjoy the comforts which this change of 
fortune is likely to bring us in private content and domestic happiness, 
without coveting or envying the parade with which we shall be sur- 
rounded. 

Do not show this letter or speak of it out of the family, for all these 



LETTERS TO HIS WIFE. 279 

expectations may possibly yet be disappointed. Tell Mary Ann, Adela, 
and William that they must be good children, and leam their books 
well, until their father comes home, when he will bring them a present. 
Kiss little Jane for me. I hope to see her running about and beginning 
to talk when I get home. 

Enclosed you have $> 20. Use it in any way you may think proper. 
Give my love to your father and mother, to Elizabeth, Alexander, and 
James. I must hear from you ; write me immediately, and enclose your 
letter to Colonel R. M. Johnson. 

Your affectionate husband, 

AMOS KENDALL. 



TO HIS WIFE. 

Washington, January 15, 1829. 

My deak Jane, — Not one word have I heard from you and my little 
ones, directly or indirectly, since my arrival in this city. You know 
not how anxious I am to hear from you. I trust a letter from you is 
on the way, and I must content myself, until it comes, with writing you 
another. 

I am becoming quite impatient to be with you. I do not believe I 
can content myself to remain here until the 4th of March ; and indeed 
since the news of Mrs. Jackson's death, I have less inclination. That 
melancholy event will cast a gloom over everything, and prevent that 
display which otherwise would have taken place. It is supposed that 
the General is now on his way to this place, and will be here about the 
1st of February. I now think that as soon as some of my friends can 
converse with him, and ascertain precisely what he intends shall be 
offered me here, I shall set out for Kentucky. Should he get here by 
the 1st of February, I shall be with you, unless I change my mind 
again, about the middle of that month. 

On Tuesday night last I was at the wedding of a Miss Reynolds. 
There was quite a squeeze, but many more ladies than gentlemen, or else 
I looked at them more. I saw but one whom I thought pretty among 
them, and, thinks I to myself, my Jane would be prettier than she if 
she were only dressed as fine. So you may well suppose I did not fall 
in love with any of them. Indeed, I was introduced to but three, and 
they, I believe, were all married ladies. Except a few words, my con- 
versation was with the gentlemen, several of whom I had before seen. 
Among my new acquaintances was Major-General Macomb, Commander- 
in-Chief of the Army. He is very sociable, and I was surprised to find 
him a Jackson man. He promised to call and see me, and I hope to 
find him a valuable acquaintance. 



280 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

There is a great show here in the dress of the ladies, and great ex- 
travagance in entertainments. I do not like the ladies' dresses, how- 
ever. They lace up too tight and expose their shoulders too much.. 
Then their bonnets are too large, and apparently too heavy. They look 
as if they were not easy. In their countenances there is "wanting that 
appearance of good health which so much adds to beauty. 

I was invited to a party to-night at Dr. Cochrane's, in Georgetown, 
but I thought I had rather write to you than go. I am invited to an- 
other wedding on next Thursday night, at Mr. McLean's, the Post- 
master-General. One of his daughters is to be married. If I am well 
I shall go. 

Colonel Johnson is gone to dinner at Mr. Clay's. My old friend has 
not thought proper to send me an invitation. If he had, it would have 
been all the same. 

This is about 7 p. m., and the dinner, I presume, is not yet over. 
You must know that the " big bugs " here pay no attention to the sun 
or the time of day in regulating their meals. They are above that. 
They invite you to dine with them at five o'clock, and the company 
gets together about six. They then sit down, and it is eight, nine, 
or ten before dinner is over. At the 8th of January dinner, which 
I was at, the company did not all leave the table until eleven o'clock, 
and then many of them could scarcely leave it at all. About one hun- 
dred and twenty persons drank two hundred bottles of wine, and the 
dinner cost us only five dollars apiece ! 

On the whole, if there is more 'extravagance, folly, and corruption 
anywhere in the world than in this city I do not wish to see that place. 
People of moderate income attempt to imitate foreign ministers, the 
President, and secretaries, and thus keep themselves poor, when by pru- 
dence and economy they might make ample provision for their families. 
There is great room for reform here in almost every respect, and I hope 
Jackson and his friends will introduce it. 

Give my love to our little ones, — make them all good, so that when 
I get home none of them will know how to cry. I wish I could fold 
myself up in this letter, and be with you as soon as it will. But I must 
be patient, and so must you. 

Your affectionate husband, 

AMOS KENDALL. 



TO HIS WIFE. 

Washington City, January 23, 1829. 
My dear Jane, — I have not heard a word from you, except that 
.Mr. Sanders, in a letter received yesterday, says my family is well. If 



LETTERS TO HIS "WIFE. 281 

you have not written, write immediately when this reaches you, and en- 
close it to Colonel R. M. Johnson, Senator, etc. Our present news is, 
that General Jackson would leave home about the 20th of the present 
month, and as he will travel but slowly he will not be here until 
the 10th of February, or thereabouts. Should I leave for home as 
soon as I see and confer with him, still I cannot start until the 12th 
or 15th of February, so that your letter will have plenty of time to 
reach me. 

Within a few days some of General Jackson's principal friends have 
started a project for running me and General Green together for the 
printing of Congress, with the understanding that we are to divide that 
and the patronage of the executive office between us. On account of 
the General's friendship for me last winter I refused to suffer anything 
of the kind to be done, unless with his entire approbation. I do not 
know whether any of them have conversed with him, and the result is 
doubtful. Green is a noble fellow in many respects, but he is perfectly 
wild in pecuniary matters, and imprudent in the management of his 
paper. I would not on any account have any partnership with him in 
money matters or in editing a newspaper. He would ruin me, as he 
certainly will himself, and we should never agree. But if the object 
now in view can be effected, I will take one half of the printing, and 
start a new paper myself. It is very uncertain, and I am very careless 
about it, for it would lead me a much more laborious life than an office 
with a salary, which I am sure to obtain if I will have it. Yet I should 
probably make more by one half of the printing than by any office, and 
for that reason I am willing to labor hard for a few years more, that you 
and my little ones may never be exposed to want. 

Last night I was at a wedding-party at the Postmaster-General's. 
The concourse of people was very great. There were three hundred or 
four hundred, about one half of whom were ladies. It comprised nearly 
all the fashion of the city. But the crowd was such that there was 
very little enjoyment. The whole house, up stairs and down, at least 
eight rooms of tolerable size, was full to overflowing. At one time the 
whole stairway and the passages above were so blocked up that most of 
them could not get one way or the other. For my part, I did not ven- 
ture up stairs, lest I should be caught between two or more of those 
very fine ladies and drifted — the Lord knows where. The ladies were 
splendidly dressed, to be sure ; but I could give you but a poor account 
of their dresses, were I to try. There was no sitting down. The ladies 
walked, or were rather pushed about, hanging upon the arms of the 
gentlemen. I was not so unfortunate as to have one of them upon my 
arm, but I thought it would have given me some pleasure to have had 
you upon it, dressed with but half the elegance of many a beauty, so 



282 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

called, -who was there. I do not know that you could match them in 
talking nonsense, and as for sense, it seldom ventures into such assem- 
blies, and more seldom ventures out when it happens to be there. I 
snatched a cup of coffee and some cake from a waiter which, in the 
hands of a negro, was knocking to and fro in the crowd, and there was 
plenty of wine and spirits on the sideboard, if a body could only get 
to it. These squeezes generally last until eleven or twelve o'clock, but 
I came away a little after nine, and wrote a letter to my father after I 
got home. Are all the children good ] Write me, that I may know 
whether I shall bring them anything. Give my love to all. 
Affectionately, your husband, 

AMOS KENDALL. 

TO HIS WIFE. 

' "Washington, February 10, 1829. 

My dear Jane, — Your letter of the 29th January was received yes- 
terday. It gives me great pleasure to hear that you and my little ones 
are all well. 

Last night I dined at the house of the Postmaster-General. I say 
night, because they have here adopted the ridiculous English custom of 
having dinner after dark. We were invited at five o'clock, went a little 
before six, and sat down about seven. The party consisted of Mr. 
Calhoun, Vice-President, General Scott, and Colonel Neale of the army, 
Mr. Ingram, Colonel Johnson, and four or five others, with half a dozen 
ladies. The table was highly ornamented and loaded with every kind 
of luxury. There was ham, beef cooked in various ways, mutton, tur- 
key with bones and without, pork, chicken, partridges, canvas-back ducks, 
jellies, puddings, olives, grapes, raisins, custards, apples, and half a 
dozen things I know no name for ; Madeira wine, sherry, champagne, 
and two kinds the names of which I do not recollect. Of course we 
could not dispose of all these good things, nor of a small portion of 
each of them, without spending an hour and a half at the table. Mr. 
McLean, who gave this entertainment, I suppose you know is a 
Methodist. 

You seem to fear that if I go to such dinners and parties I shall 
have to give them. Not at all. These are given by very rich men or 
public officers who have $ 6,000 salary, and although many living on 
humbler incomes foolishly attempt to imitate all this style, it is not 
required or expected of them. I am told that these heads of depart- 
ments do not even expect, when they invite those of less income, that 
their civilities will be returned. But it is otherwise among the humbler 
class, who throw away their living in this manner. If you go to their 
parties, having a family living here, you are expected to return them. 



LETTERS TO 'HIS WIFE. 283 

But I am a sort of single man now, and I can go where I please, — I 
mean to what parties I please, and nothing is expected of me in 
return. 

I am glad you feel as I do in relation to this foolery of giving splendid 
parties. I should like once in a while to have a few friends to take tea 
and spend a social hour, without much expense or ceremony ; but these 
great entertainments would suit my means as little as they would my 
taste. 

I do not dislike your ambition to " look fine." The more attention 
you pay to your person, the more I shall always love you. I do not 
believe any man of any taste can love a woman long who is not cleanly 
and neat in her person and dress. While I have the means, you shall 
be just as "fine" as your own taste desires. 

With a "fine" face, "fine" clothes, and a "fine" mind well stored 
with " fine " things, you would be well fitted for any station into which 
fortune may throw you ; and especially, to be always a beloved wife and 
a good mother. 

If you can't persuade Eliza to be a little more moderate, I believe I 
had better not go home ; for if I did, I should have to run away again, 
because I should be unable to pay her. 

As the little girls claim only a doll, and William a horse, I shall have 
no difficulty on that score, even although James, Susan, and Peggy be 
added to the number. 

Do ask Eliza whether she will not be satisfied with a man ? 

I still remain remarkably well, and my friends say I am gaining in 
flesh. God bless you, my dear wife. 

Your affectionate husband, 

AMOS KENDALL. 

P. S. Tell your father that General Green has been elected printer 
to the House of Representatives to-day, by a majority of twelve votes 
over Gales and Seaton. There were for Green one hundred and seven, 
Gales and Seaton ninety-five, and six scattering, one of which was for 
your husband. 

General Jackson is expected here to-morrow or the next day. I can- 
not tell whether I shall start from here before the 4th of March or not, 
until after his arrival. I will write to you as soon as I know myself. 

TO HIS WIFE. 

Washington, February 14, 1829. 
My dear Wife, — I have had a private interview with General Jack- 
son this morning, and he has assured me that I may rely on receiving 
a principal clerkship, with a salary of $ 2,000, or an auditorship with a 



284 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

salary of $ 3,000. He would have no hesitancy in promising me the 
latter, did he not think it possible that some of those offices may be 
abolished, in which case I might be thrown out. He expressed his re- 
gard for me, and his disposition to serve me, in strong terms. I think 
I shall prefer the office with $ 3,000, and run the risk of its abolition. 

I am advised to stay until I actually receive the appointment, which 
cannot be until the 4th of March or after. My friends advise me also 
to borrow a sum of money here sufficient to pay off most of my debts 
in Kentucky, that I may be able to sell my property there on better 
terms. It is probable I may do so. 

I am inclined to think that I shall look out for a house in George- 
town. Kent is lower there, the people are said to be more agreeable, 
and the means of living somewhat cheaper. The distance from the 
public offices is only such as to afford me good exercise, and for most 
of the way there are now good side pavements. 

I was at a small party in Georgetown night before last, at a Mr. 
Cochran's, who is an old man, and I believe an old resident. There was 
not so much parade as there is generally in the city, and the evening 
passed very pleasantly. Abraham Bradley was there, whom your father 
doubtless knows. The wife of one of Mr. Cochran's sons, about your 
age, I found to be the most agreeable lady I have met with since I have 
been here. If I had not had a wife and she a husband, I might have 
fallen in love with her. As it was, I thought only how much you would 
be pleased with her company. 

Last night I was at another party in this city, where there was a 
plenty of style. It was given by a Mr. Dickens, who is, I believe, a 
$ 2,000 clerk in the Treasury Department, and I was told it was the 
second he had given within two weeks. But if I had known as much 
about him yesterday as I do to-day, I should not have gone. It is said 
he now wants some valuable office, and as a means of getting it, I sup- 
pose, he is wasting in extravagant parties all his salary in his present 
office. When I get to be a clerk I shall do no such foolish thing. 
Mind that, wife ! 

We have had about as cold weather here for three days as I ever felt 
for so long a time anywhere. It is not yet at all moderated. The 
river is frozen up for several miles below here. All my friends say I 
have much improved in appearance since I have been here, and I think 
I am some pounds heavier. I do not know what has improved me 
unless that I have worked a little less and lived a little better since I 
have been here than I did at home. 

But I had rather work harder and live more roughly to be with you 
and my children than to live in this way. I hope our fortune will be 
so good for the balance of our lives that we shall not be again sepa- 



LETTERS TO HIS WIFE. 285 

rated. Tell the little girls and William that they must continue to be 
good, if I do not come home so soon as I expected. They must learn 
their books and mind their mother. When they come here to live, 
they shall go to the best schools I can find. Little Jane cannot under- 
stand what I say to her ; but kiss her anyhow, and tell her it is her 
father. I have not written to your father. Always when I sit down to 
write home I think chiefly of you, so that my pen will write that way. 
You may read him as much of my letters as you choose. Let me see, 
how many are there to send love to? — little Jane, William, Adela, 
Mary Ann, your mother, your father, Elizabeth, Alexander, James, 
Susan, Peggy. Is there anybody else? If there is, give my love to 
them too. I kiss you, my dear wife. 

Your, affectionate husband, 

AMOS KENDALL. 

TO HIS WIFE. 

"Washington, February 25, 1829. 

Dear Jane, — I have been so closely engaged in writing circulars for 
members of Congress, for a week past, that I have had no time to write 
letters. I expect to get about $ 50 for my week's work. 

The other day I had a long conversation with General Jackson. At 
the close of it, after saying many flattering things of my capacity, char- 
acter, etc., he observed, " I told one of my friends that you were fit for 
the head of a department, and I shall put you as near the head as pos- 
sible." I understood him to mean that I should have an auditor's office, 
which he has said to others he intended to give me. The salary of the 
office is $3,000. I think I can discharge its duties and make $ 1,000 
more per year by my pen. Unless it shall be necessary that I should 
remain here a few days after the 4th of March, to take possession of 
the office and arrange matters, I think I shall start for home before that 
day. It is fortunate that I came and have remained here, for it will 
make a difference of $ 1,000 per year, I have little doubt. If I had not 
come, I should probably have been offered only a chief clerkship, with 
$ 2,000. I have no news to write you. The weather here has been 
exceedingly cold for two weeks. The Potomac is frozen up ; the stock 
of wood in the city is exhausted, and it is selling from eight to twelve 
dollars a cord. The poor have suffered very much. On the 23d, Con- 
gress gave them fifty cords out of their stock, and I am told the same 
quantity was distributed from the Treasury Department. The weather 
has moderated, and the snow is thawing. If I start for home next 
week I shall probably not write again. Tell our babies I shall not 
forget the dolls and the horse. There is a fair here to-morrow, and I 
intend to buy something for all the children, and for James, Susan, and 



286 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

Peggy. If there is a man for sale, I will buy one for Elizabeth, which 

I hope will pay all the debt she says I owe her. Alexander can get a 

girl for himself. Give my love to your father and mother. I believe I 

sent $ 20 in a letter, and forgot to mention it. I suppose you liked that 

better than to mention it and forget to send it. 

God protect you. 

Your affectionate husband, 

AMOS KENDALL. 

TO HIS WIFE. 

"Washington, March 10, 1829. 

Mr dear Jane, — I received your last letter on yesterday. I had 
before thought of trying to get some place for your father, but cannot 
do anything until I am myself appointed. I hope in a year or two, and 
perhaps sooner, to find some situation that will enable him to live near 
us, and comfortably. My regard for him would induce me to do it, 
but my love for you, and my desire in every possible way to promote 
your happiness, will make me much more anxious to accomplish it. 
After I get more acquainted here I shall know better what there is of 
which he is capable. 

Since I commenced writing this letter I have seen Mr. Pickett, who 
intends starting to-morrow for Kentucky, and will visit Frankfort. He 
has kindly offered to carry such letters and other small matters as I 
may wish to send. You will therefore receive herewith a bundle con- 
taining the following articles as presents : namely, a reticule for Eliz- 
abeth ; a small feathered reticule for Susan ; two fashionable dolls for 
Mary Ann and Adela, of which Mary Ann is to have her choice ; a 
small doll for Peggy ; a horse, etc., for William ; a man-tumbler for 
James. The doll with the curled hair shows the fashionable mode for 
putting up the hair in this city at this time, and both of them hava 
fashionable dresses on. If you want to be in the fashion, therefore, you 
must take pattern from the dolls. 

In the ends of the boxes of the boys' presents you will see the end of 
a wire, which turns around, and the horse will caper and the man will 
tumble, to music. 

Besides these, you will find a cape for yourself, a cap for your mother, 
a rattle for Jane, and some other trinkets for yourself and the little 
girls. I am sorry I cannot send Elizabeth a man just now. There are 
plenty for sale, but neither she nor I have money enough to buy. If 
she had $ 20,000 she could take her choice out of the whole assortment, 
and if she had $ 5,000 she might buy a decent fellow ; but as it is, I 
am afraid she will have to go without. It is a great misfortune, but I 
do not know that there is any help for it. 



LETTERS TO HIS WIFE. 287 

My year at Markley's house is up on the 1st of April. I do not wish 
to pay rent for nothing, and as I shall not prbbably be at home by that 
time, I wish you to have measures taken to clear the house and deliver 
it up to him. I think the best way will be to take out to your father's 
whatever you wish to preserve, and deliver up the balance to Ben Hick- 
man to be sold. He has a judgment against me, I believe, in favor of 
somebody ; to satisfy that, it must be sold on three months' credit, and 
I shall have no trouble in collecting it ; and if there shall be more than 
enough to pay it, he can sell the whole and collect the money for me 
when due. The things which I do not wish sold are the shellwork boxes, 
the tea-caddies, the dressing-table, the bureau, and all those articles 
which my first wife left, including the pictures. In relation to all the 
rest of the articles you may do as you please, — and if there be anything 
among them which your father wants, let him have them. Let all my 
papers and newspapers be carefully preserved, but let all the books be 
sold, excepting the Bible. In fine, let everything be sold at once which 
will have to be sold at all, so that I may have no further trouble on that 
score. I will write to Ben Hickmari on the subject. 

I have not yet received my appointment, and do not expect it until 

the Senate adjourns, which will be in a day or two. In the course of a 

week I shall doubtless be in office. I shall make all possible haste to 

have its affairs arranged so that I may leave it, but shall not start until 

I hear from you. Do not, therefore, lose a day in writing to me. God 

bless you and my little ones. 

Ever your affectionate husband, 

AMOS KENDALL. 

P. S. — Mr. Pickett had told me he should start at eleven o'clock to- 
morrow, but has just called and told me (ten o'clock at night) that he 
must start at seven in the morning. I intended to have got you some- 
thing more elegant than the cape, but have no time now. So I send 
you that, with another kiss. There is a kiss on the piece of gold, — I 
have just put it there. 

TO HIS' "WIFE. 

Washington, March 22, 1829. 

My deae Jane, — I received my commission as fourth auditor last 
evening, and shall enter upon the discharge of the duties to-morrow. 
The salary is $ 3,000 a year. If now I had my affairs in Kentucky 
settled, and had my dear wife and little ones with me, I should be a 
happy man. I cannot say that I am very unhappy now, for my health 
continues excellent. I meet with nobody but friends, and am situated 
in a very agreeable family. 

I do not recollect that I have given you any account of the family of 



288 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

the Rev. 0. B. Brown, where I board. Mr. Brown, though a Baptist 
preacher, is a cheerful, jolly man, who loves good eating and drinking 
and delights in a joke. He is scarcely ever serious except at prayers 
and in the pulpit. He is a clerk in the General Post-Office, and gets a 
salary of $ 1,400. Mrs. Brown is not an interesting woman either in her 
person or conversation ; but she is religious and very charitable to the 
poor, to whom she devotes much of her time and labor. They have an 
interesting, well-educated daughter of about eighteen years old, who is 
very sociable and entirely amiable in her disposition. A Mrs. Jackson, 
wife of Dr. Jackson, of the army, who is a son of Mrs. Brown by a 
former husband, has been residing with us, with her two children, for 
several weeks. She is quite handsome, and a very agreeable, sociable 
woman. Mr. Brown's three sons make up the family group. Having 
little to do, I have spent many hours with these ladies of late. Mary 
Brown has an album, in which she insisted that I should write some 
poetry. I wrote two or three pieces, the best of which is as follows : — 

THE WILD-FLOWEK. 

On the white clift's of Elkhom, with cedars o'erspread, 

Where beauty and wildness in silence repose, 
A gay little wild-flower raised up its head, 

By zephers caressed as in sweetness it rose. 

Its beauties no culture could ever impart, 
No garden nor meadow can boast such a gem ; 

All native it blossomed ; for never had art 
Transplanted its root or enamelled its stem. 

I saw it and loved it ; and now on my breast 

It breathes out its fragrance, its beauty displays ; 

My heart leaps to meet it, in ecstasy blest, 

The dream of my nights and the charm of my days. 

And 0, thought of rapture ! not like other flower 
Does it droop on the air, life and loveliness flinging ; 

But its charms and its fragrance increase every hour, 
And sweet little buds all around it are springing. 

Did you ever see this wild-flower 1 I wish I had it here, and my 
little buds with it. It would be sweeter than all the city flowers. I am 
afraid I have praised you too much to these ladies. Perhaps you can- 
not come up to their expectations. But you must excuse me, for what 
I cannot enjoy in seeing you I must make up as well as I can by talking 
about you. 

Until I hear from you in relation to your own wishes, I shall do noth- 
ing about going to Kentucky or procuring and furnishing a house here. 
I hope, before this time, you have got my letter by Mr. Pickett, with the 
dolls, etc., and have written to me in reply. I do not like the idea of 



CORRESPONDENCE. 289 

being separated from you and the children until the end of the summer, 
but I must abide by your decision. 

About three inches of snow fell here last night, and we have this 
morning a keen northwester. There is not yet the slightest appearance 
of spring. 

I have no news. Give my love to all. Can little Jane talk or walk 

yet? 

Your affectionate husband, 

AMOS KENDALL. 

TO HIS WIFE. 

Washington, April 6, 1829. 

My dear Jane, — Your letter of the 23d of March was handed to me 
by Mr. Pickett last night, and I should have written an answer then, 
had he not sat with me until after eleven o'clock. 

I shall offer Mr. Johnston a clerkship here, and he has agreed to 
accept it. In a few days I expect to write him to come on. I am very 
anxious that Mary Ann and Adela shall be going to school, and I have 
been thinking of getting him to take charge of them and bring them on 
here. They will be pleasantly situated in Mr. Brown's family, and may 
be going forward with their education. Besides it will be very incon- 
venient to have so many children together when you come on, — there 
will be five of them. William, Jane, and the one that is to be, will be as 
many as we can well attend to on the road. Again, if I have to remain 
here sometime yet before I can go out, which is very probable, it is but 
fair that you should divide the children with me. It would be a great 
comfort and pleasure to have the little girls with me until I go out, and 
then I would leave them in safe hands here. I think I shall send Mr. 
Johnston to talk with you about it, and you will do just as you think 
proper. 

Tell Elizabeth I don't believe a word about her man. But if she has 
made a bargain for one, I advise her not to wait my return before she 
has the bill of sale signed, sealed, and delivered. These men are a sort 
of wild animal, and when you have once caught them you had better 
tie them until they get tamed. If she don't secure this fellow soon, I 
expect to hear nothing of him when I get out. " Strike while the iron 
is hot," "Make hay while the sun shines," "A bird in the hand is worth 
two in the bush," "There 's many a slip between the cup and the lip," 
" Delays are dangerous," "Procrastination is the thief of love," etc., etc., 
etc. No, no, do not wait for me. " Never put off till to-morrow what 
you can do to-day." Then it will be such hot weather shortly. Who 
can this man be 1 How delightful it would be if she could buy up old 
Bob Johnston and come on here with us ! 



290 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

I have been in office two weeks. I have applied myself closely to 
understand my duties. The labor is very light, and, when I am master 
of the laws under which I act, will consist of little more than looking at 
accounts and signing my name. Some days I spend five or six hours 
in disposing of the business before me, and on others it hardly takes 
one. If I had my affairs in Kentucky settled up, and my family around 
me, it seems to me I should be the happiest man in the world. I am 
more lively than I was when constantly poring over political matters, and 
I know I am in much better health. I am quite popular, too, among the 
ladies, and have made you popular by the fine things I have said of you. 
You will find a number of friends here, who never saw you. 

I shall send you money to pay your father for all his expense and 
trouble of having my family with him, and to buy everything you want. 

My dear Jane, you know not how much I desire again to clasp you in 
my arms. In the midst of all my enjoyments here, I still sigh for your 
society which nothing can replace. Well, when we get together again, I 
hope we shall love each other better, and never be again so long parted. 

Give my love to your father and mother, Elizabeth and Alexander, 
Susan and Peggy, and all our babies. I should be delighted to see 
little Jane walking about. Kiss her for me. Give my best respects to 
Mr. and Mrs. Fenwick, and to Mr. and Mrs. Johnson. 
Your affectionate husband, 

AMOS KENDALL. 

TO HIS WIFE. 

"Washington, April 22, 1829. 
My deae Wife, — I have been so busily employed for some days in 
ferreting out some of the villanous transactions of my predecessor and 
others formerly in office here, that I have had little time for anything 
else. Nor have I yet got through with it ; but I have snatched a mo- 
ment to let you know that I am alive and well. 

Enclosed you will receive $50. You have not acknowledged the 
receipt of any money I have sent you, not even my golden kisses. I 
should like to know whether all got safe to your hands. 

God knows when I shall get away from here. These investigations 
into the conduct of the men lately in office are so important that they 
must be made and completed as soon as possible, that the government 
may recover the money out of which it has been cheated. I have dis- 
covered frauds in Dr. Watkins, who went before me in this office, to the 
amount of more than $ 7,000, and how much more will come to light I 
know not. Write me every two days and tell me everything. 
In haste, your affectionate husband, 

AMOS KENDALL. 



CORRESPONDENCE. 291 

TO HIS WIFE. 

"Washington, May 1, 1829. 

My dear Jane, — 1 have this moment received yours of the 18th 
April, which is postmarked at Frankfort on the 22d. In relation to the 
little girls, I gave up the idea of their coming on without you in a day 
or two after I wrote to you, and never wrote to Mr. Johnston anything 
about it. 

The President has sent out instructions to have my predecessor 
arrested for frauds committed upon the government in this office. In 
a short time he will probably be brought to the city for examination. 
This circumstance has made it impossible for me to leave here as yet, 
and will detain me I know not how long. Indeed, I am learning things, 
from day to day, which make it very doubtful in my mind whether I do 
not owe it to my country and government not to leave this office during 
the present summer at all. If it shall so turn out, I shall make arrange- 
ments to have you and the children brought on with some safe attend- 
ant, — probably Mr. Johnston, — as soon as you are able to travel with 
entire comfort. I feel beyond description the privation of being sepa- 
rated so long from you and the children, and nothing but a sense of im- 
perative duty would induce me to submit to it. 

I sent you a few days ago $ 50. Enclosed you have $ 50 more. I 
have enclosed to you money several times, to be used by you or given to 
your father. Use this as you think proper. In none of your letters 
have you acknowledged the receipt of any money from me, and as you 
speak of borrowing money to. fit out the children, I fear that you have 
not received it. I think I sent you once $ 20, at another time $ 30, and 
recently $50, besides two golden kisses (quarter eagles) worth $2.50 
each. I hope you have received them. 

In study and writing I make my office quite laborious of late. I spend 
about two hours in the office before breakfast ; upwards of six more be- 
fore dinner, which is about four o'clock, and sometimes I go up after 
dinner. But most of the time after dinner I spend in walking. Last 
evening I spent with Mrs. Decatur, the lady of the late Commodore 
Decatur. I found her an interesting woman, but not beautiful. But it 
is but little of my time that I spend at anything else than work. 

I expect I shall have sold the printing-office before this reaches you. 
I wish I could sell the mill also. Give my love to all the babies, — to 
father, mother, sister, brothers, Susan, Peggy, not forgetting James. 

God preserve you. 

Your affectionate husband, 

AMOS KENDALL. 



292 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

TO HIS WIFE. 

"Washington, Juue 1, 1829. 
Dear Jane, — I have been anxiously expecting to hear from you for 
a whole week, but in vain. 

I was sick a whole day last week, but have got over it entirely. 
The weather has been for some days remarkably hot. Within two days 
we have had a great deal of thunder, and the air is now cooler. 

The case of Mr. Watkins is not yet disposed of. Everybody admits 
him to be guilty, but there is a motion to quash the indictments, on the 
ground that there is no law to punish a fraud on the United States. 
The question will probably be decided to-day. If I can, I shall be out 
as soon as I hear you are in a fair way to be able to travel. 

I turned out six clerks on Saturday. Several of them have families, 
and are poor. It was the most painful thing I ever did ; but I could 
not well get along without it. Among them is a poor old man with a 
young wife and several children. I shall help to raise a contribution to 
get him back to Ohio, where he came from, and intend to give him $ 50 
myself. I shall send you more money in a few days, or carry it myself. 
If I go, I shall hire a private carriage to go out with me and bring my 
whole brood of little ones. Bless their sweet faces. I long to see them. 
Give them my love as well as to all the rest. 
With unchanging affection, 

Your husband, 

AMOS KENDALL. 

TO HIS WIFE. 

Washington, June 8, 1829. 

My dear Jane, — After waiting almost three weeks to hear from you, 
I received your kind letter dated June, but without the day. I was 
sure that you had been sick and could not write, and I was becoming 
quite angry with Elizabeth and your father for not writing me something 
about it. 

So you cannot come without me. Well, you shall not come without 
me. As soon as the case of Watkins is disposed of, I intend to go to 
Kentucky. The grand jury is adjourned over to the 21st, and if there 
should be a trial at this court it will take nearly to the 1st of July. I 
cannot, therefore, hope to start earlier than the first of next month. But 
be with you I will, if I am alive and well. 

I am sorry your father has been so hard pressed for money. If I 
could have known it at the time, I would have sent you more than I 
have. In this letter I expect you will find $ 50 more. Probably I will 
bring the next myself. If your father could get the post-oflice to take 
his paper, where could he get the capital to carry on a mill if he were 



CORRESPONDENCE. 293 

to rent one 1 ? Such a thing ought not to be undertaken without $ 1,500 
or $ 2,000, which he cannot raise. I am in hopes I shall find some- 
thing for him to do here yet, but I do not perceive anything about the 
office of which he is capable. He would not do for a clerk, and he is 
too old to be appointed a messenger. I hope I shall find him some su- 
perintending about the public grounds or buildings which he can fill with 
usefulness to the public. In the mean time he had better not think of 
renting mills, but live where he is until something can be done for him. 

If Alexander will take pains to improve himself in writing, arithmetic, 
and in general reading, he may probably get a place as clerk in some of 
the offices, and be able to support his father and mother in advanced life. 
1 our father or him, or both, I shall be ready to assist to anything which 
they can do with honor to themselves and advantage to the public. 

So you don't think you are any better off, now "Jackson 's elected ! " 
Well, I confess you have not yet enjoyed much pleasure or advantage 
therefrom. But you have a. prospect. $ 3,000 a year sure income is a 
little more comfortable to look upon than the subscriptions to the 
" Argus." We will live comfortably and genteelly, but economically, 
especially until my debts are paid off. 

I cannot get boarding for my army for much less than $1,200, and I 
have determined to keep house. I can rent a good house in George- 
town for $ 1 75, and I must furnish it as well as I can. If I have not 
money to do it at once, I can hire furniture. So you may set your 
thoughts on keeping house in Georgetown. We shall be somewhat out 
of the way of the great parties in this city, and can live there more 
comfortably and cheaper. The society there is more plain and more 
agreeable. The house that I contemplate taking is in a charming 
neighborhood, on First Street, near Cox's Eow. Perhaps your father 
will know something of the neighborhood. My lady friends in this city 
are bitterly opposed to my going to Georgetown to live, but those in 
Georgetown are quite delighted with it, or seem to be. You will see 
that my acquaintance with the ladies is quite extensive. 

I am glad my sweet little ones are learning so well. Mary Ann ought 
to write me a letter, if it be not a very long one. Adela, I hope, will 
soon be able to write me also. How does the " old gentleman " come 
onl Little Jane, too, — I long to see her, and hear her say "Chick, 
chick," etc. Tell Mary Ann I remember something more about her 
than her "nose." To Elizabeth I am under great obligations for her 
attention to my children. 

Give my love to your father and mother and the whole catalogue of 
the family. God preserve and bless you all. 

Your affectionate husband, 

AMOS KENDALL. 



294 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

TO HIS "WIFE. 
"White Sulphur Springs, Va., August 7, 1829. 

My dear Jane, — I reached this place on my way to Kentucky last 
evening. I have determined to remain here for the purpose of drinking 
the sulphur water until Tuesday next, which will be the 11th, and then 
make my way to you as fast as I can. 

The water of this spring is very strong of sulphur, and it operates 
freely. There are about one hundred and forty persons here, but ex- 
cept a gentleman with whom I rode two days in the stage, not one whose 
face I ever saw before, so far as I know. 

Night before last I stayed at the Warm Springs. Nearly water 
enough to carry a mill boils up out of the ground, which is just about 
warm enough to bathe in. They have a fine bath prepared by clearing 
out the principal spring and building a wall around it. It is as big as 
a very large room, and about five feet deep. I went into it and re- 
mained in about ten minutes. It is delightful. 

This whole country is nothing but mountains, with small spots of 
tillable ground between them. Yet by winding round in the valleys 
the road is not very mountainous. Indeed, it passes over the top of 
but one high ridge since we reached the mountains, and from that there 
is one of the most magnificent views I ever beheld. Back towards 
Washington the eye ranges over nothing but mountains, the most dis- 
tant of which is the Blue Ridge, just visible in the horizon. To the 
most distant point visible it must be at least seventy miles. Scarcely a 
cleared spot, and I believe not a single house, is to be seen in all the 
vast prospect. Yet there are many farms and houses concealed in the 
deep valleys. 

My health is pretty good, but I have not got entirely free from boils. 
It is to carry these off and purify my blood that I stop to drink this 
water. I hope five days will be sufficient for that. At any rate I can 
stay no longer. I have lost three days on the road already, two at Up- 
perville and one at Winchester. When t start on Tuesday I shall go 
but ten miles that evening. It will take me three days then to reach 
the Ohio River. It may be a day or two before I can get passage down 
to Maysville. It will then take a day to go down and a day and a half 
to get from Maysville to Franklin Mills. It will therefore be about the 
18th of the month that I shall see you, with Heaven's blessing. I did 
not expect to be so long on the road, but the distance is greater on this 
route than I supposed. It cannot be much short of six hundred and 
fifty miles. 

As the mail does not go to the West until to-morrow evening, I shall 
not close my letter to-day. 



CORRESPONDENCE. 295 

August 8th. The water of this spring has a very favorable effect on 
me, and I think I shall derive much benefit from it. I have already 
formed several acquaintances, whose conversation enables me to pass an 
idle hour very agreeably. But a small portion whom I see are invalids. 
Most of them visit the springs rather for sport than health. There are 
some sick husbands with well wives, but more well husbands without 
their wives. The Virginians are very much in the habit of visiting the 
springs for weeks, themselves, and leaving their wives and daughters at 
home. 

I do not know that I can write you anything more that would be 

interesting. In a very few days after this reaches you I hope to see 

you myself. Give my love to your father and mother and Elizabeth. I 

have forgotten her prize at last ! Shall I not have to pay it myself? 

Give my love also to Alexander, Susan, and Peggy, and especially to 

my own little brood, Mary Ann, Adela, William, Jane, and all the rest. 

With unabated affection, 

Your husband, 

AMOS KENDALL. 



CHAPTER XI. 

Extract from Mr. Kendall's review of the condition of the gov- 
ernment during the first three years of General Jackson's term : — 

" Delegated by the Republican Party in the several States to meet in 
convention and adopt such measures as, upon consultation, might be 
found necessary to concentrate their support upon a single candidate for 
the Vice-Presidency, we deem it our duty to review the condition of our 
government and country, and submit to our constituents the reasons 
which have induced our decision. 

"All remember that in February, 1825, John Quincy Adams was 
elected President by the House of Representatives, through a coalition 
with Henry Clay, whom he immediately appointed Secretary of State. 
It was charged, that in this election Mr. Clay was induced to support 
Mr. Adams, in opposition to- the will of the people, by a previous under- 
standing that, in consideration of that support, Mr. Adams was to give 
him the first place in his cabinet, as a means of securing to him the 
succession. Upon this charge an issue was made up before the Amer- 
ican people, who, after full discussion and consideration, pronounced a 
verdict of guilty, and consigned the delinquent to private life. 

" General Jackson came into power by an overwhelming majority of 
popular and electoral votes. Of 1,150,508 popular votes given, he re- 
ceived a majority of 135,684. Of 261 electoral votes, he received a 
majority of 95. The people had a right to expect a cheerful acquies- 
cence in their decision. They had a right to expect that no factious 
opposition, without just cause or legitimate object, would be got up 
against the man of their choice, and the administration of their creation. 
These just expectations were soon disappointed. The first act of Gen- 
eral Jackson in the administration of the government had not been 
done, the acclamations of a delighted people, and the thunder of our 
country's cannon, which welcomed him to power, had not ceased to 
echo around the Capitol, when Mr. Clay, amidst a chosen band of hardy 
followers, proclaimed uncompromising war, and gave the signal to his 
distant clans. On his retreat to the "West, and in his perambulations 
through the States of Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana, be sounded the 
tocsin of alarm, and called his legions to the field. 



REVIEW OF JACKSON'S ADMINISTRATION. 297 

" In the mean time General Jackson entered upon the duties of the 
high station to which he had been elevated by a grateful people. A 
few individuals of doubtful integrity or dissolute habits were removed 
from office, and their places supplied with political friends. It was 
soon rumored that frauds and corruptions had been detected in the late 
incumbents, verifying the worst suspicions of those who had opposed the 
last administration. 

"A new energy was inspired into all the public offices. The business 
which was in arrears for years was promptly brought up, and the re- 
ceivers of public moneys, as well as disbursing officers of the depart- 
ments, in all parts of the country and in distant seas, vied with each 
other in the promptitude with which their accounts were rendered. It 
is confidently believed that at no period in our government have public 
accounts been more faithfully rendered or more promptly settled than 
within the last three years. 

" The new impulse immediately reached other portions of the public 
administration. Our foreign relations were found in a disordered state. 
A misunderstanding was pending with Brazil. This was speedily ad- 
justed. Colombian cruisers had depredated upon our commerce, op- 
pressive duties were levied in the ports of that Republic on the cargoes 
of American vessels, and circumstances had rendered our minister there 
powerless to do good. A successor was sent out ; indemnities were 
granted ; the duties were reduced ; and at length our vessels have been 
put on the same footing as those of Colombia in Colombian ports. With 
Mexico we had a suspended treaty. It has been ratified and confirmed 
with new and important stipulations. With Turkey we had no treaty, 
and the Black Sea was closed to our commerce. A treaty has been 
formed, which admits our vessels into Turkish ports on the terms 
granted to the most favored nation, and enables them to reach many 
Russian and Persian ports before closed to them. With Austria we 
had no diplomatic relations. A treaty has been formed extending to 
our commerce many advantages in her ports. Upon Denmark we had 
claims for spoliations of long standing. They have been recovered to 
the amount of more than $ 750,000. The last administration had lost 
a valuable trade with the British West Indies, and had sought to regain 
it zealously, but in vain. A new minister was sent out, and it was re- 
covered. For twenty years our government had fruitlessly urged our 
claims on France. A new minister was sent out, and they are secured 
to the amount of $ 5,000,000, while the claim of that nation to exclu- 
sive privileges in our Louisiana ports is extinguished forever. France 
was obliged to send a fleet to enforce reparation for injuries done her 
commerce by the cruisers of Portugal. To us similar reparation, to the 
extent of about $ 112,000, has been accorded on demand. 



298 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

The consequence of this improvement in our foreign relations is a 
commercial activity scarcely equalled in our history. The value of ship- 
ping, of wharves, of warehouses, of everything connected with com- 
merce, has greatly increased. The shipyards are filled with new struc- 
tures, and laborers find full employment and high wages. The farmer, 
the manufacturer, the mechanic, every class of society directly or indi- 
rectly participate in the advantages. At Boston alone, it is said, fifteen 
vessels were fitting out for the trade of the Black Sea ; the British 
West India trade has employed 36,914 tons of shipping; the exports 
have been $1,441,700, and the imports $1,284,678; while our trade 
with other parts of the globe, relieved from a portion of the competition, 
is carried on with more spirit and better profit. 

" The same energetic spirit entered the Treasury Department, and 
prepared it to realize all the benefits of our foreign relations in their 
improved condition. Among the custom-house officers and other re- 
ceivers of public moneys, numerous peculators were discovered and 
hurled from office. The depredations of those who were removed within 
the first eighteen months of General Jackson's administration, in this 
department of the public service, were at least $ 280,000. The unre- 
strained power of the Treasurer over the public funds, by which they 
could be drawn upon his individual check, was taken away by a new 
regulation. Frauds in payment of fishing bounties were stopped, and 
two collectors, believed to have been engaged in them, removed from 
office ; in consequence of which there was a saving, in the first year of 
the administration in that branch of expenditure, of $51,271.41. 

" A new and more efficient system of regulations for the revenue-cutter 
service has been introduced. 

"From the improved condition of our foreign relations, and the 
energetic administration of the Treasury Department, the annual rev- 
enues of the nation have been increased about four millions of dollars, 
while the duties on coffee, tea, etc., have been taken off to the extent 
of about four millions. The receipts of 1832 will undoubtedly exceed 
those of 1 828 by at least six millions. 

" The War Department has long been completely organized, so far as 
it regards the army. That branch of its duties has been conducted .ac- 
cording to the laws without material improvement. It is in its Indian 
affairs that the vigor of the administration has been most signally dis- 
played. The idea of colonizing the Indians beyond the Mississippi was 
suggested by Mr. Jefferson soon after the acquisition of Louisiana. Mr. 
Monroe made it the topic of a special message to Congress, and from 
that time it became the settled policy of the government. Mr. Adams 
continued the same policy, adverted to it in his messages, and repelled 
the idea of Cherokee independence. Immediately after his accession to 



REVIEW OF JACKSON'S ADMINISTRATION. 299 

power, General Jackson took hold of the subject with his characteristic 
energy. He changed the policy only so far as related to the mode of 
execution. It had before been confined to the removal of individuals ; 
he devised the plan of removing by tribes. Half a million of dollars 
were granted by Congress to aid in the undertaking. By a treaty with 
the Sacs, Foxes, and others, he acquired a tract of territory estimated 
at 16,860,800 acres for the use of the emigrating Indians. Treaties of 
emigration and change of lands have been made with the Delawares, 
Choctaws, Chickasaws, Senecas, Shawnees, Ottawas, Wyandots, and 
Creeks. The land acquired from these several tribes and bands is 
estimated at over 33,000,000 acres. 

" The territories thus acquired are greater in extent than the States of 
New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, 
New Jersey, and Delaware. They would make seven such States as 
Massachusetts, twenty-four equal to Delaware, and thirty-two larger 
than Rhode Island. General Jackson found more than half of Missis- 
sippi in the occupancy of savages; he will leave it entirely free. A 
large part of Alabama he conquered in war, another part he has acquired 
by treaty, and the remnant will soon be emancipated. Entire bands 
are removing from Ohio. In Illinois and Michigan large tracts of 
country have been freed. If our venerable Chief be properly sustained 
in this energetic and humane policy, it is probable that in a few years, 
except in the cold and sterile region beyond Lake Superior, an Indian 
foot will not tread on this side of the Mississippi. We justly honor him 
for the preservation of Louisiana and the acquisition of Alabama amidst 
the terrors of bloody war. Shall we refuse him the meed of admiration 
and support for his peaceful achievements, for expelling an enemy from 
the bosom of the Republic, not by conquest and extermination, but by 
gentle persuasion, and advancing the interest of the savages as well as 
our own 1 

" The Navy Department has felt beneficially the hand of reform. An 
end has been put to many abuses, frauds, and corruptions, which consumed 
its means and cankered the morals and honor of our navy. By these means 
a saving of more than half a million a year, or more than a million and 
a half in three years of General Jackson's administration, compared with 
the last three years of Mr. Adams's, has been effected without impairing 
the efficiency of the establishment. On the contrary, the number of 
officers, excepting midshipmen, has been increased, the force in commis- 
sion has been as great, the public works in connection with our naval 
strength have been pushed with equal, if not greater effect. Energetic 
measures have been pursued in the examination and protection of live- 
oak timber; the stores on hand have been largely increased, means 
have been adopted for their preservation, and greater care has been 



300 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

taken to preserve from decay our vessels in port. The cruising grounds 
of our squadrons abroad have been extended to the coast of Africa, the 
Islands of the South Sea, and the Indian Ocean. Wherever an outrage 
is committed on our commerce, our national flag is soon seen. At the 
Falkland Islands our fishermen were seized and plundered ; our govern- 
ment promptly despatched a public ship to their rescue, and the aggres- 
sors have been punished. 

" The Malays of Sumatra seized one of our trading vessels and mur- 
dered a part of her crew ; a frigate has gone to obtain reparation or 
avenge the outrage. Wherever our commerce seems to be in danger, 
some of our cruisers soon appear. The recent insurrections at Vera 
Cruz and Tampico had scarcely occurred before an American armed ship 
made her appearance to protect American citizens and their property. 

" The present administration found the affairs of that department in 
a most deplorable condition. Negligence and credulity, to say the least, 
had possessed the head of the department, while corruption and fraud 
revelled in the principal accounting office. A fourth auditor was com- 
mitting frequent frauds, directly applying the public money to his own 
use, and making unauthorized and extravagant allowances, that he 
might share the proceeds with those whom he favored. In one case 
upwards of $ 11,000 were allowed, when the original claim was less 
than $ 3,500, and had been repeatedly declared to be wholly unfounded, 
$ 1,000 of which were lent to the auditor and never repaid. In another 
case more than $ 30,000 were fraudulently allowed, and although the 
claimant was, after that allowance, $ 9,000 in debt, and had been two 
years out of office, $ 30,000 more were advanced to him out of the 
Treasury. Just before he was removed from office, the fourth auditor 
passed to his credit about $80,000 more; but this settlement was 
arrested ; and in that single account the difference between the present 
and late auditor's settlement is about one hundred and twenty thousand 
dollars. 

" On a review of the acts of our government since General Jackson 
came into power, it is difficult to perceive how it could have been better 
administered. In the management of our foreign relations, a success 
wholly unexpected and brilliant beyond example, has attended his 
efforts. His action at home, through the Treasury Department, is pro- 
ducing results in the extinguishment of our public debt which excite the 
admiration of the world and cheer on the friends of liberty in the East- 
ern hemisphere. Through the War Department he not only protects 
our frontiers, but removes from the bosoms of our States whole tribes 
and nations of ignorant savages and replaces them with a civilized popu- 
lation. Through the Navy Department, he protects our commerce in 
every sea. Through our Post-Office Department, he sends out light and 



EEVIEW OF JACKSON'S ADMINISTRATION. 301 

intelligence to all our people, like the swift rays of the glorious sun. It 
is difficult to imagine what more he could do than he has done, or how 
he could better do it. 

" The opposition which was commenced against General Jackson be- 
fore he had done a single official act has been continued with increasing 
bitterness, notwithstanding the signal success of his administration. He 
is charged with having turned out of office all who were opposed to him, 
when a majority of the office-holders at Washington are known to be in 
favor of his rivals. In that city the removals have been but one seventh 
of those in office, and most of them for bad conduct and character. 
In the Post-Office Department, towards which have been directed the 
heaviest complaints, the removals have been only about one sixteenth. 
In the whole government they have been only one eleventh, 

"It is sometimes made a ground of attack that the President dis- 
solved his first cabinet. Yet it is conceded by all that its materials 
were too discordant to do good, and that the existing cabinet is far its 
superior in talents and qualifications, as well as in harmony of feeling 
and concert of action. 

" For want of better objections, it is often asserted that the President 
is in his dotage, — that he has lost the original vigor of his character 
and become the mere instrument of those around him. Many of us, 
within a few days past, have visited him, have witnessed his firm step, 
grasped the strong hand, looked into the undimmed eye, and heard the 
nervous language of him who, seventeen years ago, by the energies of 
his mighty mind and the valor of his fearless heart, repelled the storm 
of invasion and saved New Orleans. His bodily vigor is greater than 
it was then, and his mind retains its powers in their original vigor. He 
is destined yet to live, and with his firm grasp manage the helm of 
state until the storms at present raging shall be overblown. 

" The means taken to annoy the President and break down his admin- 
istration are most extraordinary. At the first session of Congress, after 
his inauguration, the Senate rejected on frivolous grounds many of his 
best nominations. It was with difficulty that the Indian Bill was got 
through. The President's recommendations were generally neglected. 
Nothing would Congress do to facilitate business in the public offices. 
The spirit of reform, wherever it appeared, was rebuked by them, and 
they legalized many of the frauds and corruptions which the vigilance 
of the executive had detected. 

" At the next session, things were in the same condition. The Senate 
would permit the President to send only a charge ([affaires to Turkey, 
when he desired to send a Minister, although they knew the apparent 
contempt of the Grand Seignior put in jeopardy our excellent treaty 
which had yet to be ratified. There was the same indifference as at the 



302 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

former session to the recommendations of the President and heads of 
departments. At the present session even a worse spirit seems to per- 
vade a large portion of both Houses. They object to his arrangement 
•with Great Britain, to his treaty with France, to his Indian treaties ; 
they refuse or delay the necessary appropriations, recall his Minister to 
England, deny him the means of maintaining the mission in France, at- 
tempt to cripple the Post-Office Department, get up charges of fraud 
against his friends, never committed or thought of, and by some far- 
fetched reasoning, endeavor to implicate him ; go into endless and need- 
less investigations, assert that the President encourages bullies to attack 
them, send spies to talk with him and misrepresent what he says, offer 
resolutions proposing to inquire into his private conversations, and by 
intemperate language and direct insult, excite as much personal feeling 
as possible, fill the land with feuds, charge to the administration the 
affrays which naturally spring out of their own violence, with the ap- 
parent design of giving employment in private altercation to those 
talents which ought to be devoted to the exposure of their designs and 
a vindication of the administration. The interests of the country are 
neglected or converted into electioneering engines ; arrangements are 
made to throw into controversy as many exciting subjects as possible 
with the desperate hope of injury to the President from the part he may 
take ; and almost half of Congress, instead of devoting themselves to 
such measures as may redound to the prosperity and honor of the coun- 
try, appear to be altogether employed in schemes to put out one Presi- 
dent and put in another ; to prevent an election either of President or 
Vice-President by the people, that they may promote their personal 
views by corrupt elections in Congress. Thus do many members spend 
their time who were elected by the people and sent to Washington 
solely because they were expected cordially to sustain the President and 
his measures. 

"His re-election by an expression of the public will, which shall 
frown into silence factious opposition, is deemed by us essential to the 
interests of our country, if not to the existence of the union. In the 
triumph of either of the three branches of the opposition, we perceive 
nothing but disaster to our institutions. The followers of Mr. Clay, by 
their injustice and insults to the South, if with their leader brought 
into power, would at once endanger the Union and probably dissolve it. 
The triumph of nullification would be disunion itself. In the spirit 
and principles of antimasonry our country cannot expect prosperity or 
repose. United as the three now are in opposition to the President, 
they would, if successful, produce an administration of the government 
without principle, without concord, without the power to do good, if not 
without the disposition. To sustain General Jackson, therefore, to give 



HIS ENTRANCE INTO PUBLIC LIFE. 303 

him an evidence of increased public confidence and affection, to strengthen 
his administration and enable him to adjust the conflicting interests of 
our country to its altered condition, is, in our opinion, the duty of every 
patriot. 

"A party, like a nation, to be strong, must be just. It must sustain 
its true men. When the attack is most fierce upon them, the more 
firmly must we rally to their support. When each man confides in those 
to his right and left, and when he knows that if the enemy's columns 
be concentrated upon him, thousands will instantly rush to his rescue, 
he marches on regardless of consequences to himself, and thinks only 
of achieving a common victory. A party thus united and resolute, 
always just to its friends and true to the country, is more irresistible 
than any army of veterans. 

" At this moment, in our opinion, justice and true policy both require 
that the friends of Andrew Jackson shall sustain Mr. Van Buren for the 
Vice-Presidency. Victory is as certain as that the people are just. 
But if it were doubtful our decision would be the same. We had 
rather fall in an effort to do justice, than rise by a cowardly abandonment 
of those who are exposed to danger only because they are our leaders." 

History of Amos Kendall's connection with the government of 
the United States, written by himself : — 

"Soon after the presidential election in 1828, a young man named 
Overton, living in Lexington, Ky., called upon me and stated that he 
had just returned from a visit to General Jackson, at the Hermitage, 
and was authorized by him to inform me that it was his purpose to offer 
me an appointment at Washington. Not doubting that it would be an 
'honorable one, I at once made up my mind to accept it ; but I commu- 
nicated the fact only to my wife and my partner in the ' Argus ' office, 
and to them confidentially. There were two preliminary objects which 
I wished to accomplish, for the purpose mainly of neutralizing the asper- 
sions cast upon my motives and character by Mr. Clay and his adher- 
ents pending the preceding contest. One of these objects was, to be 
made the bearer to Washington of the electoral vote of Kentucky for 
General Jackson, sealing my triumph over all my maligners and Mr. 
Clay in particular. The other was, to get reinstated by the legislature 
of Kentucky in the office of public printer, which I had lost in the pre- 
vious local contests. 

" The electors readily conceded to me the appointment of messenger, 
and in December, 1828, I repaired to Washington bearing the vote of 
Kentucky. My purpose was to deliver the package, and return with 
the view of securing the position of public printer ; but my friends in- 
sisted that my presence was not necessary to the attainment of that 



304 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

object, and persuaded me to remain in Washington until the inaugura- 
tion of the new administration. 

" Prior to the election of a printer by Congress, Major John H. Eaton, 
then in the Senate, proposed to me to become a candidate for the print- 
ing of that body, assuring me that Duff Green, editor of the ' Telegraph,' 
was unreliable and unpopular, and that I could certainly be elected. I 
declined the honor, unless Mr. Green, on being consulted, should con- 
sent to the arrangement. Although the printing of the Executive De- 
partments, and the House of Representatives, which he was sure to 
receive, seemed enough to satisfy the desires of any reasonable man, 
yet as Green had fought the battle bravely in the very lion's den, I 
thought his desires ought to be gratified though somewhat too grasping. 
I declined even to confer with him on the subject, lest he should im- 
agine that the idea of dividing the printing had originated with me ; 
but I avowed my readiness, if, on being consulted expressly without 
authority from me, he should freely assent to such an arrangement. 
Major Eaton afterwards informed me that Mr. Green had been con- 
sulted, and refused to give up his claim to the printing of the Senate. 
Again the Major assured me that if I would consent to run I would be 
elected, Green's wishes and opposition notwithstanding. I, however, 
peremptorily declined. 

"At that time I knew nothing of the management which was in pro- 
gress touching prospective cabinet arrangements, and their bearings on 
aspirants to the Presidency, having in view myself nothing beyond the 
success of General Jackson's administration, and the permanent ascen- 
dency of Democratic principles. I was not consulted, and did not seek 
to know the reasons which controlled the selection of the new Cabinet 
Ministers. In only one instance was I in any way made acquainted 
with those reasons. John McLean, who was Postmaster-General under 
Mr. Adams, was a political friend of General Jackson, who gave him the 
option of remaining at the head of the Post-Office Department, or 
accepting a seat on the bench of the Supreme Court then vacant. He 
decided to remain in the Department, but was soon induced to change 
his mind by the management of Duff Green. Green was extremely pre- 
scriptive, and many postmasters were very obnoxious to him, some of 
them deservedly so. He presented certain cases to Mr. McLean, and 
asked whether he would remove them, and was answered in the negative. 
He presented the same cases to General Jackson, inquiring whether they 
ought not to be removed, and was answered in the affirmative. Mr. 
McLean was an aspirant to the Presidency, and very popular with the 
postmasters ; and when he found that he should probably not be able 
to protect them from removal without losing the favor of the President 
and his friends, he changed his mind and signified that upon reflection 



ANNE BOYAL. 305 

he preferred the judgeship. He considered the position, however, merely 
as a temporary withdrawal from the political theatre ; for when, in con- 
versation, I mentioned it as a very comfortable provision for one dis- 
posed to retire from political life, he promptly replied that he had no 
such intention, but should always hold himself at the disposition of his 
friends. 

"General Jackson reached the City of Washington in February, 1829. 
I saw him but once before his inauguration, and then it was in the com- 
pany of several editors of newspapers. I said nothing to him in relation 
to an appointment. He did, indeed, ask how I should like to live in 
Washington, to which I replied that I thought I should like it very 
well. 

" In the mean time, the Jackson members of the Kentucky delegation 
in Congress, of their own accord, sent me a recommendation to the Pre- 
sident for an auditorship or chief clerkship expressed in too strong 
terms for me to present in person. I erased the chief clerkship and 
returned it to them, with my reasons for declining to present it. 

"There was living in Washington at that time a singular woman, 
named Anne Royal, the widow of a Captain Royal, of the United States 
Army. She was homely in person, careless in dress, poor in purse, and 
vulgar in manners. But she had a tolerable education, much shrewd- 
ness, and respectable talents. She procured her subsistence by pub- 
lishing books, in which she praised extravagantly those who bought her 
books or gave her money, and abused without measure those who re- 
fused, or had in any way incurred her displeasure. Some through love 
of flattery, and more through fear of abuse, contributed to her support. 
. " I was one day sitting with a friend in the gallery of the House of 
Representatives, when Mrs. Royal entered and seemed to be approach- 
ing us. My friend inquired whether I would like to be introduced to 
her, and I answered in the negative. She seated herself on the oppo- 
site side of my friend, and, after a pause, said to him, ' Why don't you 
introduce me to that gentleman ? ' He gave me an inquiring look, and 
I nodded assent. After another pause, she said to me, 'You are a 
Presbyterian preacher.' 

" I replied, ' No, I have not that honor.' 

" 'Well,' said she, ' You are a Baptist or Methodist, — a preacher of 
some sort.' 

" I answered, ' No, I am not even a professor of religion. ' 

" My friend now interposed and said, ' Mr. Kendall is the editor of the 
Kentucky " Argus." ' 

" She replied, ' I love the editors.' 

" Observing a new book in her lap, I inquired, ' Mrs. Royal, is that 
your last publication 1 ' 

20 



306 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

"'Yes.' 

" ' What is your price 1 

" ' I make members of Congress pay me a dollar, but I sell it to other 
gentlemen for seventy-five cents.' 

" I handed her the money and took the book. 

" She soon after gave me a kind look and said, ' I begin to think you 
a clever fellow.' 

" Thus cheaply I purchased my way into the good graces of AnDe 
Royal. 

" She subsequently commenced the publication of a weekly news- 
paper, called ' The Huntress,' at two dollars per annum, devoted chiefly 
to flattery and abuse. Of the former I for a time enjoyed my full 
share ; but alas ! for the mutability of human affairs, I fell from my 
high estate in the affections of this amiable lady, and became her anti- 
pathy in a very high degree. It was in this wise : I had become an 
auditor of the Treasury Department, with an annual salary of three 
thousand dollars. One day her ' Secretary,' so called, being a thin, 
spare, good-natured old maid, named Sally, who lived with her in the 
triple capacity of companion, servant, and messenger, called at my office 
to inform me that Mrs. Royal was sick and suffering for the necessaries 
of life ; that although she had a little food on hand she had no means of 
cooking it, being entirely out of wood. I gave her a note to the wood- 
seller with whom I dealt, requesting him to send Mrs. Royal a load of 
wood. A few days afterwards she came into my office in an unusually 
brusque and excited manner, when the following dialogue in substance 
ensued : — 

" ' Well, Mr. Kendall, you sent me a load of wood, did you 1 ' 

" ' I gave Sally an order for a load.' 

" ' It was very mean in you, Mr. Kendall.' 

" ' Mean, Mrs. Royal *? ' 

" ' Yes, mean, — you ought to have seut me a cord.' 

" ' Well, I thought I was doing a charitable act ; perhaps I was mis- 
taken ; perhaps I should have sent you a cord or half a dozen, but I 
only thought of enabling Sally to cook your food and relieve you from 
present suffering. You should judge the act, not by the quantity given, 
but by the motive of the giver.' 

" Yet she was not to be appeased by anything I could say, and con- 
tinued for some time to ring the changes upon the meanness of sending 
her a load of wood instead of a cord. I knew that she might be ap- 
peased by a moderate gratuity, but the spirit in which she had received 
this small favor awakened me to the evil of encouraging this kind of 
beggars and petty swindlers by any sort of countenance. Thus far I 
had in' relation to Mrs. Royal been influenced more by thoughtless 



MR. KENDALL'S CONNECTION WITH THE GOVERNMENT. 307 

amusement than any other motive ; but now I discontinued taking her 
paper and took no notice of her abuse, which, indeed, I never heard of 
except through the thankless kindness of officious friends. 

" It was during my residence with Colonel R. M. Johnson that he 
made his celebrated report against putting a stop to the transportation 
of the mails on the Sabbath. Its authorship was erroneously attributed 
to me. After it was drawn up it was submitted to me, and my entire 
agency consisted in altering one or two words. Its composition in the 
main was doubtless attributable to the Rev. Obadiah Brown, the Bap- 
tist minister, in whose house the Colonel boarded. It was written with 
great simplicity and power, and had great effect on the popular mind, 
virtually settling the question for many years thereafter. 

" My pecuniary means were at that time very limited, and I obtained 
temporary employment from the Postmaster- General in making out a 
list of post-offices by counties, for which I received an adequate com- 
pensation. 

" It was quite surprising to me to meet so many men who claimed 
the merit of producing General Jackson's election to the Presidency, 
and had come to Washington to receive the appropriate reward. Among 
them was a small, spare man from Pennsylvania, who, at a Fair one 
evening, attached himself to me and entertained me with a long story 
of his achievements and his complaints. The former consisted chiefly 
in his having been, he said, the first man in Pennsylvania who had pro- 
posed General Jackson for the Presidency, and thus ' put the ball in 
motion.' The latter consisted in the fact that the importance of his 
services did not seem to be appreciated, and he feared that in the dis- 
tribution of the offices he should be entirely overlooked. His reasoning 
was of this sort : — 

" ' General Jackson could not have been elected if he had not been 
proposed. I first proposed General Jackson. Therefore I caused his 
election.' 

" Thus, perhaps for an hour, walking to and fro, he entertained 
me, while I did not even know his name. Being anxious to know who 
it was to whom the country was so deeply indebted, I pointed him 
out after he left me to every person in the room whom I knew, and 
not one of them could tell me who he was. Meeting him in the same 
place on a subsequent evening, I continued my inquiries, and at length 
fell upon a man who was able to gratify my curiosity by telling me his 
name. 

" A fine contrast was presented by a friend of mine from Kentucky, 
who had contributed by his pen and other means to the grand result. 
He had come to Washington for the purpose of securing an appoint- 
ment in Kentucky. As we were walking along Pennsylvania Avenue, 



308 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

he said to me, ' Mr. Kendall, I am ashamed of myself, for I feel as if 
every man I meet knew what I came for.' I replied, ' Don't distress 
yourself, for every man you meet is on the same business.' An exag- 
geration, but conveying a sad truth. 

" The new administration was auspiciously inaugurated on the 4th of 
March, 1829. It was not creditable to the manliness of Mr. Adams 
and his cabinet, that none of them remained at their posts to receive 
their successors. They all fled as if an enemy was in hot pursuit. A 
beautiful contrast was exhibited by Mr. Van Buren and his friends 
twelve years afterwards. Mr. Van Buren, on General Harrison's arrival 
in the city, invited him to the White House, made him acquainted with 
its inmates, and entertained him as his guest until the inauguration. 
The members of his cabinet remained in their several offices until their 
successors made their appearance, received them courteously, and intro- 
duced them to their subordinates. Thus should it always be in a gov- 
ernment like ours, in which changes are effected by the constitutional 
routine of regular suffrage, rather than the vicissitudes of civil war and 
its attendant bitterness. 

" Nearly two weeks passed away after the inauguration, and I heard 
nothing of the expected appointment. Was there some mistake about 
the alleged promise of the President, or had he changed his mind 1 At 
length a rumor reached me that the second and fourth auditorships were 
to be given to Major William B. Lewis and myself, but that the allot- 
ment had not been made. I called on Major Lewis and inquired which 
office he preferred. He replied, ' That in which there is the least 
work,' which he understood was the Second Auditor's. I said I pre- 
ferred that in which there was the most work. The two offices were as- 
signed to us accordingly. Nor was there in my expressed preference 
any affectation. Calling on the President to thank him for the appoint- 
ment, I said to him in the course of the conversation, ' I suppose you 
will hold me responsible for the faithful performance of the duties of 
the office'?' He replied, 'Certainly.' Then said I, 'I ought to have 
the selection of my own clerks.' ' You shall have it,' was his prompt 
reply. Thanking him for the concession, I assured him of my purpose 
to manage the office on the same legal and moral principles that I man- 
aged my private affairs, and if ever satisfied that such a rule was im- 
practicable in administering a public office, I would resign and go into 
private life. And while I remained in the Fourth Auditor's office I 
had the selection of my own clerks as effectually as if I had been the 
head of a department. 

" By the Constitution and laws of the United States, all clerks in the 
Comptroller's, Auditors', and other subordinate offices are to be appointed 
by the heads of the departments to which they belong, producing this 



MR. KENDALL'S CONNECTION WITH THE GOVERNMENT. 309 

incongruity that the heads of bureaus, deriving their own appointments 
from the President and Senate, removable only by the President, and 
held responsible for the faithful performance of the duties of their 
offices, are dependent on others, -who have no rightful control over them, 
for their clerical force. And it has become one of the glaring abuses in 
our government, that clerks are often thrust in and thrust out of the 
bureau offices without consulting their responsible heads, and without 
due regard to the merits and qualifications of those put out or in. 

"At length, on the 21st of March, 1829, I found myself installed in 
the Fourth Auditor's office, in which were then sixteen clerks, only one 
of whom was what was then called ' a Jackson man.' 

" My predecessor, who had been one of the principal writers in favor 
of the late administration, did not wait to receive me. 

"The first thing that struck me as being amiss in the office was the 
great number of letters for private citizens which came under cover to 
the Fourth Auditor, as means of avoiding the payment of postage. 
With the exception of a few special cases, in which I paid the postage 
myself, all such letters were returned to the post-office. That such an 
abuse existed, I well knew, but I knew little of its extent. On ex- 
amining the law, I found there was a penalty of ten dollars attached to 
each illegal frank, and made up my mind under no circumstances to 
commit the offence. This resolution was sacredly adhered to during 
the eleven years I was connected with the government and possessed 
the franking privilege. Though one of my predecessors in the Post- 
Office Department had decided that a man having the privilege might 
frank his wife's letters, I found nothing in the law to warrant it, and 
rejected the precedent. Sometimes my associates in the government 
would allude with a sort of sarcastic pleasantry to my scrupulousness 
on that subject, and my uniform reply was in substance that I did not 
set myself up as a censor or judge of other men's conduct or con- 
sciences in the exercise of their special privileges; but for myself I 
deemed it the safest rule to keep within the limits of the law. But I 
had few imitators in the Executive or in Congress. 

" Within the first week of my official life, one of my clerks applied 
to me for a requisition on the Navy Department for money, stating that 
he was a disbursing agent for that department, for the purpose of paj- 
ing small claims, and especially those originating at the Washington 
Navy Yard. It struck me as singular and incongruous that the Navy 
Department should have a disbursing agent in the office where its 
accounts were settled, and I asked the clerk under what law he acted. 
He replied he did not know, but that he had acted in that capacity for 
many years. I then stated that I must know his authority before I 
could take any further action. 



310 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

" The result was, that there was not only no authority for the ar- 
rangement, but in some respects it was in direct violation of law. There 
was on the statute-book, unrepealed, an act of Congress requiring the 
Captain in command of the Navy Yard at Washington to perform the 
duties of Navy Agent at that station. So far as disbursements were con- 
cerned, that act had been long disregarded, and the duty transferred to 
a clerk in the Fourth Auditor's office. In addition to that duty,, he 
paid small claims against the Navy Department upon the certificate of 
the Auditor, a practice introduced to avoid the labor and delay of run- 
ning each of those claims separately through all the ridiculous forms of 
the Treasury and Navy Departments. A commission was allowed him 
on his disbursements, sometimes exceeding a thousand dollars a year. 
At the same time he was receiving one of the best salaries in the Fourth 
Auditor's' office. His account was settled in the same office virtually by 
himself. Yet there was an act of Congress prohibiting clerks from re- 
ceiving compensation for any extra service whatsoever. 

" Having ascertained these facts, I informed the clerk that his opera- 
tions must cease, and he must close up his accounts. His commissions 
were disallowed on the double ground that the whole arrangement was 
in violation of law, and that the allowance of compensation was pro- 
hibited by an act of Congress. The state of the case was reported to 
the Secretary of the Navy, who required the Captain of the Navy Yard 
to perform the duties of Navy Agent, until Congress should provide a 
regular agent. 

" There was at that time a Navy Pension Fund of several hundred 
thousand dollars, the management of which was intrusted to the same 
clerk. His duties were to keep the accounts, invest the money, and 
reinvest it when refunded, and he was allowed a commission for this 
service also. Soon after my accession to office, the Hon. Michael Hoff- 
man, who had been Chairman of the Naval Committee in the next pre- 
ceding House of Representatives, called on me and invited my particular 
attention to that fund, stating that he had attempted in vain to ascer- 
tain what was its true condition during the two preceding sessions, the 
reports made in pursuance of his calls being unintelligible. Turning 
my attention to the subject, I called on the clerk for a report made out 
according to a form described by myself. After considerable delay, he 
made an unintelligible statement, which I returned, directing him to 
comply with the form I had prescribed. Without refusing to do so, he 
showed so much reluctance and made so little progress that I was sure 
there were circumstances connected with it which he did not wish to 
disclose. On the 1st of June he was removed from office, and his suc- 
cessor was instructed among his first duties to report the condition of 
the Navy Pension account. He found no difficulty in making out a 



EXTRACTS FROM MR. KENDALL'S JOURNAL. 3H 

plain, intelligible statement. There had been no apparent embezzle- 
ment of the fund ; but large amounts, after being refunded, had re- 
mained apparently to the credit of the agent in bank, some of them for 
more than a year, before they were reinvested, by which means the fund 
had lost many thousand dollars of interest. Whether the agent profited 
by the use of the money in any way, or whether it was a piece of gross 
neglect, was never ascertained. 

" When I entered the Fourth Auditor's Office, I was totally ignorant 
of the process by which the Navy accounts were settled. To obviate 
this difficulty, I required successively a clerk in each branch of duty to 
meet me at the office before office hours, and go through the process of 
settling an account. I thus soon acquired a general knowledge of all 
the duties of the office." 

The following fragment, from a journal kept by Mr. Kendall at 
this time, illustrates the assiduity with which he discharged his 
official duties : — 

"JOURNAL. 

"Fourth Auditor's Office, March 23, 1829. 

" Having qualified, taken possession of my office, and been introduced 
to my clerks, I took up the correspondence lying on the table. I found 
in enclosures directed to Tobias Watkins, Fourth Auditor, the following 
letters to other persons, viz : One to Gwynn Harris, from Philadelphia ; 
one to Jos. H. Handy, from Portsmouth, N. H. ; one to W. P. Zant- 
zinger, from New York ; one to E. McDaniel, from New York ; one to 
J. Weed, from Boston ; one to R. B. Maury, from New York ; one to 
Eliza C. Porter of Alexandria, from Watertown, Mass. ; one to J. I. 
Boyle, from New York ; and four pamphlets to Dr. Cox, Dr. Huntt, 
Chas. Hay, and Tobias Watkins. All these I returned to the post- 
office, with a note to the postmaster, stating that I sent them to be 
disposed of according to law. 

"My office appeared more like an editor's than an auditor's. Sixteen 
newspapers had arrived, and were on the table, since my predecessor 
had left the office on the 21st. I resolved to take no papers at the 
public charge which should not be useful to me in the performance of 
my official duties, and took a list of them for the purpose of ordering 
their discontinuance. 

" A number of claims came in of midshipmen who have been attending 
at New York for examination, charging fifteen cents per mile for travel- 
ling from their place of residence, and $ 1.50 per day for remaining in 
New York, for which some of them charged ninety-two days. I in- 
quired what law there was for allowing these accounts, and was told 
there was none. I inquired what regulation there was, printed or 



312 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

written, and was told there was none. Mr. Gilliss, my chief clerk, in- 
formed me that it had been the custom to allow them for several past 
years. I laid them aside and consulted the Secretary of the Navy. He 
was not prepared to give an opinion, but instructed me to stop every- 
thing that I had any doubt about. 

"After dinner, I called at the office with the chief clerk, and re- 
mained until night examining into the regulations of the office and the 
laws relative to the Navy. I instructed my messenger to have me a 
fire by half-past six in the morning. 

" March 24th. I was at the office a little before half-past six, but 
the messenger had not arrived. I walked, and on returning found him 
making a fire. I prepared a circular and sent it to the editors of six- 
teen papers, — ' Baltimore Gazette and Daily Advertiser,' ' Constitu- 
tional Whig,' ' Political Arena,' ' Albion,' ' Free-Trade Advocate,' ' New 
York Morning Herald,' 'Atlas,' 'American and Commercial Daily 
Advertiser,' 'Richmond Enquirer,' 'Baltimore Patriot and Mercantile 
Advertiser,' ' Democratic Press,' ' Commercial Chronicle and Daily Mary- 
lander,' 'Evening Bulletin,' 'Phenix Gazette,' 'National Journal,' and 
' National Intelligencer.' I added a note to the letter to the ' Rich- 
mond Enquirer,' requesting to be considered a subscriber. 

" The following enclosures were received to-day. A letter to Jos. H. 
Handy, supposed from Charlestown, Mass. ; one to Joseph L. Hughn, 
from Portsmouth, Va. ; one to George Bealle, Esq., supposed from Car- 
lisle, Pa. ; and one to Gwynn Harris, from New York, all which were 
returned to the post-office. 

" Mr. Hughn, who is Paymaster of the Marine Corps, came to remon- 
strate with me in relation to returning his letters, alleging that they 
were on public business, and were sent to the Fourth Auditor in pur- 
suance of express directions to avoid a post-office account. I told him, 
that the law made it my imperative duty to return to the post-office all 
letters received under cover to me, and that as they were sealed I could 
not know that they were upon the business of the department. I told 
him I should abide strictly by the law, and if that were found to pro- 
duce inconveniences, resort must be had to Congress to change it. He 
acquiesced by saying it would only delay public business one day. I 
replied that the law and not the auditor was responsible for that. 

" George McDaniel, one of my clerks, called with a requisition signed 
by me yesterday, payable to Hutton, clerk, requesting me to ex- 
punge the name of the clerk and insert that of a messenger. On my 
inquiring why this change was requested, he informed me that there 
was a rule in the public offices, that no clerk should act as agent to 
settle accounts and draw money for any citizen ; that the rule had not 
been enforced for some time past; that it had been revived at the 



EXTRACTS FROM MR. KENDALL'S JOURNAL. 3 13 

Treasury; that Hutton was drawing this money as agent for certain 
citizens who had assigned their account to him ; that it could not be 
paid to him at the Treasury ; and for the purpose of getting it, he had 
further assigned it to the messenger. After some examination and in- 
quiry, I told him that the object appeared to be to evade a very whole- 
some rule, and that I could neither aid in nor countenance any evasions 
in this office. 

" On investigating the case of the midshipmen, I found that the first 
payment of such claims was in 1820, for attendance at an examination 
in 1819, and that, by the decision of the Secretary of the Navy, the 
allowance extended only to travelling expenses, and that an allowance 
of a per diem was expressly prohibited. No further regulation, either 
of law or office rule, appears ; but in 1825 accounts were first passed 
for the fifteen cents per mile and the $ 1.50 per diem. I submitted the 
case to the Secretary of the Navy. 

" March 25th. Returned to the post-office one letter to Josiah Col- 
ston, from Pensacola ; one to John McDaniel, from St. Michaels, Md. ; 
one to John McBee, from St. Michaels, Md. ; and one to G. Gilliss, from 
Baltimore, 

" A claim was presented to-day for fuel by the Paymaster of the 
Marine Corps, charging twenty-four cords on his own account and 
twelve cords on account of his office, at seven dollars per cord, for the 
year 1828. On inquiry, I learned that the wood allowed to officers was 
originally paid in kind, and they were required to produce receipts 
to enable the department to fix the price ; that the officers at Norfolk 
had agreed to commute for $ 3.50 per cord; that subsequently a com- 
mutation of $ 6 per cord had been allowed ; that recently it had been 
extended to $ 7 a cord throughout the Union, and that the officers at 
Norfolk now claim and are paid the same sum as all the rest. Seven 
dollars is the average price in New York, where wood is highest, and 
this commutation only increases unlawfully the pay of the officers at 
the expense of the people. The subject must be examined. 

"March 26th, Was sick to-day. Opened my letters in bed. Re- 
turned to the office a letter to R. Getty, from Philadelphia, and one to 
E. Fitzgerald, post-mark illegible. Received an insolent letter from 
Isaac Monroe, editor of the Baltimore ' Patriot,' in consequence of the 
terms in which I discontinued his paper. 

"March 27th. Returned to the post-office two letters to Gwynn 
Harris, from Boston and Norfolk Discontinued the ' Independent 
Citizen ' and the ' Village Record,' which, with the ' Frederick Exam- 
iner ' and the ' Scioto Gazette,' heretofore discontinued, make up twenty 
newspapers which I have discontinued. 

" Had a conversation with the Secretary of the Navy. Found him 



314 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

much vexed with his clerks, and determined to change some of them. 
He expresses a full determination to reform his department, and fully 
believes that great abuses exist in the disbursement of public money 
under the rules or customs heretofore introduced. 

" A gentleman long conversant with the public offices promised me 
a list of cases in which decisions had been given and public money paid 
from motives of favoritism, if not corruption. 

" March 28th. Returned to the post-office a letter to J. N. Hamble- 
ton, from Pensacola ; one to G. W. Hollins, from New York ; one to E. 
MoDaniel, from Norfolk ; and one to George McDaniel, from New Ber- 
lin, N. Y. 

" March 30th. Returned to the post-office a letter from Gloucester, 
Va., to A. K. Long, of Baltimore ; also one to J. J. Boyle and J. M. 
Watson. 

" Lieutenant Ross, of the Marine Corps, called and laid in a claim for 
transportation from New York. He had been attached to the ship 
' Natchez,' and had come to Washington upon a permit of the com- 
mander, but without orders. He stated that he had presented his claim 
to Dr. Watkins, who refused to allow it, on the grotind that he had no 
orders, but said he had since ascertained that he had allowed an ac- 
count of his own son, also an officer of the Marine Corps, who had come 
to Washington under similar circumstances. I requested him to put his 
claim in writing, which he did. 

" March Slst. Returned to the post-office a letter to E. McDaniel, 
from Norfolk, and one to Thomas H. Gilliss, post-mark illegible. 

" I requested my chief clerk to inform me what allowance had been 
made to young Watkins for transportation, and under what circum- 
stances. He examined, and reported to me that no such account had 
passed the office. 

" George McDaniel informed me that money had been placed in his 
hands to pay the salaries in the office, and requested to know whether 
he was to proceed as heretofore. I told him to do so until further 
orders. 

" April 1st. Returned to the post-office a letter from Pensacola to 
J. M. Hambleton, St. Michaels, Md. 

" April 3d. Returned to the post-office a letter to George Bealle, from 
New York. I heard a day or two ago that this man was abusing me at 
Brown's Hotel, as ' a pretty auditor, indeed,' on account of my stopping 
the newspapers and sending back the letters. On turning to my memo- 
randum, I find that I have heretofore returned to the office one letter 
to him. He does not like to pay postage, I suppose. 

" George McDaniel stated to me that he had been employed for sev- 
eral years by the head of the Navy Department as a special agent to 



EXTRACTS FROM MR. KENDALL'S JOURNAL. 315 

pay off small claims accruing against the department ; that a sum of 
money was placed in his hands at the commencement of each quarter 
for that purpose ; that he had received one per cent on the amount dis- 
bursed, as his compensation ; and he desired to know whether he should 
continue to act in that capacity. On inquiry, I found that this was a 
scheme which had been invented to prevent the trouble of passing small 
accounts through all the departments, but it seemed to me wholly un- 
authorized by law. I conversed with the Secretary of the Navy on the 
subject, but he was not prepared to give any opinion. 

" Soon after McDaniel left me, Lieutenant Ross of the Marines called, 
and I told him the account of Lieutenant Watkins had never passed 
the office. He said Watkins had told him he was paid. I then stated 
that I would go and examine his account myself. He observed that he 
believed a Mr. McDaniel had paid it. It then occurred to me that it 
had been paid without having passed through the office. I called in 
McDaniel, and learned that he had paid it under the direction of Dr. 
Watkins, who was Lieutenant Watkins's father. He brought me the 
papers, from which it appeared that Lieutenant Watkins had come 
from the Mediterranean upon the permission of Commander Crane, on 
account of ill health, and that he had been paid for his passage from 
Smyrna to Boston and for his travelling expenses from Boston to Wash- 
ington. No sick-ticket was produced, and I do not believe there ever 
was any. His transaction had been covered from my inquiries hereto- 
fore by this sub-system of paying accounts through a special agent, to 
whom the amount of the whole has been allowed in lump. 

" Went up to the office after dinner, and with Captain Bennett, one 
of my clerks, went through the whole process of settling a purser's ac- 
count. In the conversation which arose upon it, he informed me that 
a letter had been written by Captain Morris, commanding at Charles- 
town, in the Auditor's office, adopted by the Auditor, recorded and sent, 
directing the purser there to pay the officers money and take their re- 
ceipts for wood. I requested him to show it to me to-morrow. 

" April J/th. Captain Bennett showed me the letter referred to yes- 
terday. It instructed the officer commanding at Charlestown to direct 
the purser to pay money to the officers in lieu of wood, at the usual 
market price, to take receipts for wood and not for money, and to for- 
ward on a certificate of the usual market price of wood in Boston. 
Though written by Captain Morris at Washington, it was directed to 
Captain Morris at Charlestown. Certainly this was a scheme to intro- 
duce false vouchers for the passage of accounts, upon the suggestion 
and with the aid of an officer interested. 

" Discharged my assistant messenger. I did not know I had one 
until the 1st inst., when he presented an account as laborer for three 



316 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

months' services. He said Dr. Watkins had employed him for some 
time and paid him in that way. I conversed with his brother, my mes- 
senger, and told him that he was safe, unless I in future should see 
cause to remove him, but that I did not feel myself authorized to em- 
ploy his brother, nor did I think it necessary. 

" April 5th. Called this evening and had a conversation of some 
length with the President. He approved the course I had pursued, 
recommended the utmost strictness in the passage of accounts, and 
thanked me for a variety of suggestions. 

" April 6th. Sent to the post-office five letters, enclosed by officers, 
etc., at Smyrna to Dr. Watkins, to be forwarded to their wives, etc. 
There was an open note to the Doctor from one of them, named Hun- 
ter, requesting him to frank the two letters enclosed to his wife. 

" One of my clerks, John McDaniel, presented me with an account 
of George Bealle, purser at Carlisle, with a note of my predecessor 
wafered at the bottom, stating that the Secretary of the Navy had de- 
cided that the purser at Carlisle was to receive the same compensation 
or allowances as the purser at Philadelphia. I inquired of McDaniel 
whether these allowances were the same, and he said they were. I 
then passed the account. Soon after Mr. Gilliss, my chief clerk, pre- 
sented me with the account of the purser at Philadelphia, which con- 
tained an item of $ 2,200, I think, for paying mechanics and laborers. 
Mr. Gilliss stated that such a charge had been made for many years, but 
had never been allowed by the Auditor or Secretary of the Navy until 
last year, and that he thought the allowance not authorized by law, 
because there was no appropriation to pay it. I was clear in the opinion 
that it ought not to be allowed. He then told me he understood I had 
passed an account of the purser at Carlisle with a similar item in it. I 
was confident there was no such item in it, but remarked that there 
was one for clerk hire. He observed that I would probably find that 
to be in effect the same thing. I then sent for John McDaniel, and re- 
quested him to bring the account I had passed. He did so, and it con- 
tained an item of $ 600 for clerk hire. I inquired whether the purser 
hired any clerk. He replied in the negative. I inquired whether this 
charge was meant to correspond with the charge from Philadelphia for 
paying laborers and mechanics. He replied in the affirmative. I in- 
quired whether there were any laborers or mechanics at Carlisle to pay. 
He answered in the negative. I then observed with some sharpness 
that it was a most broad and dishonest construction of the decision of 
the Secretary to maintain that it went to pay the purser at Carlisle for 
no services the same which was paid to the purser at Philadelphia for 
actual services, and that he ought before to have put me in possession 
of these facts. I took my pen and excepted the $ 600 from the allow- 



HIS OFFICIAL RULES. 317 

ance. In a few minutes the purser, George Bealle, came in, and rather 
rudely claimed the allowance as a matter of right under the decision of 
the Secretary. I had some difficulty in keeping my temper, but re- 
strained myself, and drew from him admissions that he neither hired 
clerks nor paid mechanics and laborers. I asked him what justice there 
was, then, in making such a charge. He pleaded that he had incurred 
other expenses. I told him to present a true account, then, and if the 
law authorized its payment it should be paid. He said he should have 
had no difficulty if he had presented it six weeks ago. I told him it 
was not my business to inquire what my predecessor would have done, 
but what it was right for me to do. He left me in no very good- 
humor. 

" What is this but a direct attempt to cheat by a false account ] 
I fear this system has been carried to a great length; but I shall 
check it." 

"CIRCULAR. 

" Having completed the contemplated arrangements in the office, the Fourth 
Auditor takes this occasion to apprise his official corps of the principles by 
which he expects them to be governed. 

" Every man who receives a salary from the Treasury ought to consider him- 
self hired by his fellow-citizens to labor in their service. Office in this country 
is not property. It is rather a contract between the people and the officer, by 
which the former promise to give a salary, and the latter to earn it. The dura- 
tion of the contract, with all clerks, depends on the will of those to whom the 
people have given the power to appoint and remove. Clerks in this office hold 
their offices at the will of the Auditor and the Secretary of the Treasury. In- 
dependent of that will they have no right to their places. When that will 
decides on their removal,. their rights cease. The present Auditor hopes that 
with him the painful business of making removals is at an end. Yet he wishes 
it distinctly understood that the continuance in office of each one of his clerks 
depends solely on the industry and fidelity with which he discharges his pub- 
lic duties. Determined to devote every energy of his body and mind to the 
service of that country by which he is employed and paid, the Fourth Auditor 
is resolved that no favor or affection, no personal consideration on earth, shall 
induce him to retain one about him who habitually violates the rules of the 
office and is negligent of his duties. The salaries of the office are competent 
to purchase the services of men of first-rate attainments and industry, and with 
such the office must be filled. 

" Generally, a close devotion of only six hours each day to the business of 
the office will be required. He who devotes himself intently to calculation 
of figures or writing, will have the balance of his time for relaxation, exercise, 
family concerns, and rest. But surely, for the salaries paid, a rigid application 
of six hours a day to public duties is not unreasonable. The Auditor does not 
intend to limit himself to that number of hours or any other ; he will be at 
labor whenever the duties of the office require it. But as he does not intend 



318 AUTOBIOGEAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

to be absent from tbe office during office hours, except upon public business, 
so neither will he tolerate absence and neglect in his clerks. It will give the 
office a bad name if those who are paid to be at work are seen traversing the 
city or country during office hours in pursuit of business or pleasure. Besides, 
urgent business may come into the office during their absence requiring special 
attention. But they must be at their posts during the six hours, whether they 
have anything to do or not, and they must be ready and willing to labor, be- 
fore or after office hours, whenever the public interest may require it. In 
cases of sickness or family distress, the Auditor will not be backward to grant 
them every needful indulgence. 

" At present the business of the office is somewhat in arrears, and no man 
need eat the bread of idleness. The Auditor is anxious that all arrearages shall 
be brought up, so that every account which is presented may receive instant 
attention. 

" "When the clerks enter the office they must lay aside all thought of every- 
thing but their official duties. They must not spend the hours of business in 
reading newspapers, or books, or writing private letters, or in any private con- 
cerns. For all those things, the public allows them sufficient time, morning 
and evening. Nor must they bring into the office loungers or idlers, or employ 
their time in conversing with friends or strangers upon other topics than their 
own current business. By suffering no intrusion to interrupt them, they will 
soon be rid of all intruders. 

" It is natural for those engaged in public service to think lightly of public 
property. Without compunction they apply to their own use that which be- 
longs to the people, when they would scorn to be guilty of a like act in rela- 
tion to their neighbor. Yet it is in principle the same crime. He who applies 
to his own use the books or stationery of the public, is just as guilty in the 
eye of morality as he who takes his neighbor's property without leave and 
applies it to his own use. A public officer would be as justifiable in taking 
money from the Treasury, and bestowing it upon his family and neighbor, as 
he is in giving them a quire of paper from the public stock. It is by little and 
little that the moral sense is blunted and destroyed. It may be said there 
is no harm in taking, for our own use or giving to a friend, a few quills or a 
little paper which belongs to the public, because nobody will feel it. The 
transition is perfectly natural to a few cents, and a few dollars, and a few hun- 
dreds, until the Treasury is assailed and plundered of its thousands. It is im- 
portant to guard against the slightest violation of principle. If we never suf- 
fer ourselves to do wrong in small things, we shall not be in danger of doing 
wrong in great things. Let me enjoin it upon the clerks of this office, in the 
use of the stationery, or whatever else belongs to the public, to be as rigidly 
just as they would be in the use of that which belongs to their neighbor. They 
will then not only never be guilty of extensive frauds, but they will never be 
tempted. 

" Not only the public interest, but the reputation of our government and 
country require the practice of rigid morality by those engaged in public 
business. Gambling, intemperance, and extravagance ought not to be toler- 
ated in the agents of the people. An habitual gambler can scarcely be a man 
of integrity. He who takes from his fellow-citizen thousands of dollars, re- 



HIS OFFICIAL RULES. 319 

ducing his wife and children to beggary upon a fortunate deal of cards, would 
not long hesitate to take thousands from the government, if he thought he 
could do it without detection or responsibility. Such a man ought not to be 
trusted in public office. The intemperate man, if not led into other vices by his 
indulgencies, is no better than a lunatic. A madman ought as soon to -be 
trusted in office. Extravagant habits of any kind, leading to expenditures 
beyond our income, ought not to be tolerated in a public officer. One whose 
income is fixed and certain has no excuse for exceeding it in his expenditures. 
Vain show and foolish aping of men of wealth in public agents, ought not to 
be encouraged. Much less ought government, by continuing salaries to vain 
and improvident men, give them credit in society and enable them to swindle 
farmers, mechanics, and merchants out of their produce, labor, and goods. 

" As the Fourth Auditor will not knowingly appoint a gambler, drunkard, 
or grossly immoral man to any place in his office, so he should consider it his 
duty to remove any clerk who might contract such habits. He is proud to 
believe that the character of his office now stands unimpeachable on those 
points, and it shall be his pride, as it is his duty, to keep it so. 

" In everything except the business of the office it will give pleasure to the 
auditor to treat his clerks as equals. He recognizes no superiority in one good 
man over another, further than a due discharge of public duties requires. 
While, therefore, he exacts a strict performance of every official duty from 
every clerk under his control, he shall consider himself no more than their 
equal as a man and a citizen, ever ready, by all just means, to promote their 
comfort, comply with their wishes, and increase their happiness. 

" 1. Every clerk will be in his room, ready to commence business, at nine 
o'clock, a. m., and will apply himself with diligence to the public service until 
three o'clock, p. m. 

" 2. Every clerk will hold himself in readiness to discharge any duty which 
may be required of him in office hours or out, and in no case where by labor- 
ing a short time after office hours an account can be closed or a citizen released 
from attendance at this city, must he refrain from continuing his labors after 
three o'clock. 

" 3. Newspapers or books must not be read in the office unless connected 
directly with the business in hand, nor must conversation be held with visitors 
or loungers except upon business which they may have with the office. 

" 4. Gambling, drunkenness, and irregular and immoral habits will subject 
any clerk to instant removal. 

" 5. The acceptance of any present or gratuity by any clerk from any person 
who has business with the office, or suffering such acceptance by any member 
of his family, will subject any clerk to instant removal. 

" 6. The disclosure to any person out of the office of any investigation going 
on, or any facts ascertained in the office, affecting the reputation of any citizen, 
is strictly prohibited without leave of the Auditor. 

" 7. No person will be employed as a clerk in this office who is engaged in 
other business. Except the attention which the families of clerks require, it 
is expected that all their time, thoughts, and energies will be devoted to the 
public service. 

" 8. Strict economy will be required in the use of the public stationery or 



320 AUTOBIOGEAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

other property. No clerk will take paper, quills, or anything else belonging 
to the government from the office for the use of himself, family, or friends. 

" Although it is necessary in transacting the business of the office that there 
should be implicit obedience to all just requisitions, and entire subordination of 
the clerks to the head, yet it will give the Auditor pleasure on all occasions to 
treat his clerks and their families as equals and friends. Forgetting every dif- 
ference of opinion, he hopes and expects that all will be actuated by one spirit 
in the service of that country which protects all in their rights of property 
and conscience. He doubts not that he will find in them a prompt and effi- 
cient co-operation in every investigation and measure tending to expose delin- 
quents, reform abuses, enforce the laws, and introduce rigid and just principles 
into the settlement of public accounts. It is thus only that we shall gain the 
lasting regard of good men, and, by restoring the purity, contribute to the last- 
ing duration of the best government which Heaven ever gave, or man ever 
enjoyed." 



CHAPTEE XII. 

The fidelity with which Mr. Kendall, for five years, conducted 
the business of the Fourth Auditor's office, educing order from con- 
fusion, exacting strict accountability, and correcting abuses hoary 
with age, elicited numerous commendations from friends, and even 
for a time silenced the clamor of his enemies who practically 
adopted the maxim that the Jackson administration could do 
nothing right. 

The following letter is a sample of many found among Mr. 
Kendall's papers: — 

Shelby County, Ky., September 4, 1829. 
A. Kendall, Esq., 

Sir, — Your friends and fellow-citizens of Shelby County have seen 
with great satisfaction the bold, prompt, and decisive manner in which 
you have employed the opportunities of your place in the present admin- 
istration to crush the corruption which had raised such a fearful head at 
Washington. During past years that city has been signalized by offi- 
cial indulgences, political intrigues, and the venal application of the 
public patronage. You have honestly redeemed the pledges which your 
uniform course as editor, in vindicating the popular rights and the 
principles of democracy, gave to the public. You have given the ex- 
ample of an officer abolishing the aristocratic privileges which former 
incumbents had introduced into your station, by declining to use the 
public purse at once to administer to your personal indulgence, and to 
corrupt the organs of public information by refusing the franking privi- 
lege through the medium of your office, which had been previously 
allowed to all who desired it, and by cutting off the corrupt influence 
of executive legislation, which, under the name of construction, gave to 
a single department of the public service many thousands of dollars 
more of the nation's money than was authorized by law. But the ex- 
ample you have set in the case of Dr. Watkins is of the highest use to 
your country. It is calculated to bring back the public functionaries 
to a strictness in the conduct of their offices which will secure future 
accountability, and it is to be hoped will check the growth of fraud and 
21 



322 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

peculation in our government, which seems to have struck so deep a 
root. Your honest vigilance in detecting, and boldness in denouncing 
and bringing to justice fraudulent defaulters and peculators, have brought 
down on you the vengeance of the aristocracy. You are charged with 
monstrous crimes which we disdain to mention in connection with your 
name, and you are invited to sue in Lexington for these libels on your 
character. Sir, your reputation belongs to your country, a country which 
will never suffer it to become a prey to the artifices of the bad men 
whose dangerous policy and violated faith it has fallen to your lot to 
expose. We trust you will scorn to submit your honest standing to the 
tricks of the bar and a jury of your enemies. The men who are arrayed 
against you have already given an evidence of the success with which 
they can suborn witnesses and influence a judicial tribunal. They can- 
not, however, control public opinion, by which they stand condemned, 
and by which you will be forever protected against their malicious in- 
vective." 

Mr. Atwater threatens, and receives the following reply : — 

Washington, July 15, 1831. 

Sir, — Your letter of the 11th instant is just received. Although I 
had not time to answer all your previous letters, I urged forward your 
business as much as I properly could. But for the last paragraph in 
your letter, I should have rejoiced at the information I have just re- 
ceived, that your account has been adjusted and a balance found due 
and forwarded to you. That paragraph is as follows : " Unless I hear 
immediately from you my book will contain several pages I had hoped 
to have withheld. Human nature can only bear a certain amount of 
suffering." 

I fear the receipt of this money will have the effect to suppress these 
" several pages " ; and had not your account been adjusted, I should 
certainly have advised its delay until the appearance of your "book." 

To be plain, sir, I understand this paragraph as a threat that, unless 
your claims be allowed, you will publish something derogatory to the 
administration. I hope I do not understand you correctly ; but if I do, 
I beg leave to inform you that when you again advance such arguments 
in support of pecuniary claims against the government, you must find 
some other advocate to present them. 
With due respect, 

Your obedient servant, 

Caleb Atwater, Esq. AMOS KENDALL. 

Mr. Kendall's early fondness for the study of Natural Philosophy 
and Mechanics lasted throughout his life, and the subject of per- 



PERPETUAL MOTION. 323 

petual motion seems to have almost constantly haunted his mind. 
He insisted that such motion was contrary to mechanical prin- 
ciples, impossible, if not absurd; yet some new project would occa- 
sionally prove that he had not ceased to ponder on the question, 
impracticable as it seemed. 

The device referred to in the letter below was manufactured to 
his order, but before it was finished he discovered its impracti- 
cableness. Many other projects in the same direction occasionally 
diverted his mind, always with similar results. 

PERPETUAL MOTION. 

"Washington, September — , 1831. 

Dear Sir, — When I was in New England I mentioned to you that I 
might wish to procure certain machinery with a view of trying some 
experiments on the laws of motion. So much has been said in relation 
to perpetual motion, and so many have deceived themselves with the 
notion that they had discovered it, that every one who speculates and 
tries experiments with a view to that result, is laughed at as a visionary. 
I do not join in that laugh. Although, upon mechanical principles, per- 
petual motion is an absurdity, and therefore impossible, I do not reject 
the idea that it is possible on other principles. Indeed, I know that it 
is possible, for we all witness it every day. The motion of the earth, 
moon, and planets is a perpetual motion. Astronomy taught me that 
this motion is maintained by the centripetal and centrifugal tendencies 
of these bodies. That is to say, — in relation to the earth for instance, 
— it has a tendency from its gravity or weight to fall into the sun : 
but, having a motion, and all motion being, if left uncontrolled, in 
straight lines, it also has a tendency to fly off from the sun ; and these 
tendencies are so nicely balanced as to keep it revolving round the sun 
in a circle. 

We have both these principles on the face of the earth. Every sub- 
stance has gravity or weight, and tends to fall towards the centre. 
Here it is the centripetal power. Every wheel in motion affords a cen- 
trifugal power. The motion of wheels may be, and often is, so rapid as 
to throw upwards heavy substances from their peripheries in spite of 
their weight, thus overcoming the gravitating or centripetal power. 
The water flying upward from the top of a grindstone in rapid motion 
is familiar to every boy. 

Now, can this centrifugal power be produced to such an extent as to 
more than counterbalance the gravitating power that produces it ] It 
has seemed to me mat it might be. I have not been so confident as 



324 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

to induce me to take much trouble or incur much cost for the purpose 
of ascertaining, but I have for many years been anxious to make ex- 
periments with that view. You know that by high gearing a small 
weight descending very slowly may be made to give rapid motion to 
a heavy balance-wheel. May not a machine be so constructed that a 
heavy balance-wheel thus put in motion shall come in contact with the 
small weight, and raise it back to the point whence it has descended in 
producing the motion ? 

I am somewhat sanguine that this result can be produced, and would 
like to try various experiments to ascertain ; but here I have no oppor- 
tunity, because the necessary apparatus is not at hand and cannot be 
readily procured. If you will obtain the apparatus and try the experi- 
ments, I will pay the expense if you will take the time and trouble ; 
and if anything comes of it, you shall share alike with me. I am not 
very confident, but so important would be the discovery and so valuable 
withal to those who make it, that I am willing to pay something for the 
experiment. 

Enclosed I send you the drawing of a machine by which these experi- 
ments may be tried, not very accurately executed, but perhaps sufficient 
to direct you. 

Your obedient servant, 

AMOS KENDALL. 

About the same time, despite the engrossing cares of his office, 
he invented -what he called a " Cylinder Steamboat," the principles 
of which are stated in the following letter. The results of this 
invention were not equal to his expectations : — 

CYLINDER STEAMBOAT. 

"Washington, December 24, 1832. 

Dear Sir, — Continued indisposition and a press of official business 
have prevented an earlier answer to your letter of the 1st inst. 

The plan of my boat is exceedingly simple. Its basis is two or more 
hollow cylinders of large dimensions, with paddles on the exterior sur- 
face, which are to be rolled over upon the water by steam or other 
power. The whole structure for supporting the machinery, passengers, 
and freight, rests upon the ends of the axes of these cylinders, the room 
for their accommodation being between and above them from near the 
surface of the water upwards. I have no paddle-wheels or hull, the 
cylinders supplying the place of both, and the only parts of the boat 
which will touch the water are the cylinders and the rudder. The pro- 
gressive motion is obtained on the same principle as that of a steam 
carriage, the cylinders supplying the place of wheels. 



LETTEKS TO HIS WIFE. 325 

I trust this description will enable you to understand it without the 
aid of drawings, which could not be furnished without expense. 

Another patentee claims the principle of my invention, but he has in 
fact no solid foundation for his claim, and has become anxious to com- 
promise with me. Making the inquiries necessary in that controversy, 
I came to a knowledge of your patent, which, in some points, bears some 
analogy to mine. It seemed to me that the union of the three would 
secure all that has ever been patented on the subject, and would con- 
stitute the safest basis of proceeding, and probably the most profitable 
for all of us. In my opinion, neither your patent nor the other I desire 
to procure are in themselves of any value, nor can I imagine that mine 
will be of any great value ; but I can have its value tested, provided I 
can show to those who have the funds and the disposition to embark in 
it that there is no danger from other quarters. Hence, although I do 
not think either of the patents alluded to can injure mine in law, yet 
they do injure it in practice, and therefore it is that I wish to concen- 
trate them. 

I will therefore give you a nominal consideration for your patent, with 
an agreement that you shall have a small proportion of the net profits 
arising from mine, or from the united patents, should any accrue from 
them, without trouble or risk to yourself. And if you desire it, I will 
further agree to reconvey yours back again to yourself, if the matter shall 
not be tested by me in a reasonable time. 

I beg to hear from you as soon as will suit your convenience, and the 

more definitely the better, as I dislike long negotiations. 

Very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

AMOS KENDALL. 
Mr. W. "W. Van Loan, Catskill, N. Y. 

TO HIS "WIFE. 

Catskill, May 7, 1833. 

My dear Jane, — I am safely at my brother's, after a rapid and un- 
pleasant journey. You recollect that I left you at ten o'clock on Satur- 
day night. We arrived at Baltimore about four o'clock. The steam- 
boat started at six. The morning was cold, with a raw easterly wind, 
and there was no fire on board which I could get at. We passed the 
railroad from Frenchtown to the Delaware, a distance of sixteen miles 
and a half, in about fifty-six minutes, going at the rate of seventeen 
miles per hour. At the Delaware we again took a steamboat, and were 
in Philadelphia at twenty minutes past two. Here I saw a few friends 
and walked out to the water- works, about two miles. At 6 a. m., on 
Monday, we were again in a steamboat. From Bordentown to Amboy 



326 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

there is now a railroad, but the cars are drawn by horses, which travel 
about eight miles an hour. At Amboy we again took a steamboat, and 
were in New York about 3 p. m. There we stayed until seven o'clock 
this morning, and arrived here about 3 p. M. The distance from Wash- 
ington to this place is over three hundred miles, and we have been 
travelling but little over thirty-one hours. 

I took an additional cold on Sunday morning, and on Monday was 
very hoarse. But it has almost entirely left me. I have felt very well 
all the way, have eaten heartily, and slept soundly. I intend to ride 
every good day several miles, and have no doubt I shall find great bene- 
fit from it. 

Give my love to the children and to cousin, to your father and 
mother, Alexander, and the rest of the family. Tell Mary Ann and 
Adela that they must each write me a letter next Saturday. Tell Wil- 
liam I shall inquire how he has behaved when I get home. I intended 
to direct him to go to Mr. Wheat's school, but 1 forgot it. 
Affectionately, your husband, 

AMOS KENDALL. 

TO HIS WIFE. 

Catskill, N. Y., May 17, 1833. 

My dear Jane, — I have not had a line from you since I have been 
here, nor a word from the family since Mary Ann's letter of the 11th, 
although the mail now comes from Washington here in a little more 
than two days. 

This is Friday. On Tuesday evening last my brother and myself 
went up to Troy in a steamboat, where we visited an uncle and aunt 
and cousins. Aunt Wilson is sister to my mother, and, though a smaller 
woman, resembles her very much. Though once comfortable in the 
world, Uncle Wilson, by a series of misfortunes and accidents, has been 
reduced to poverty. The day and night preceding our visit he had lost 
about five hundred dollars in moulded brick, by an uncommon flood in 
the Hudson River. Yet both the old gentleman and lady, especially the 
latter, appeared to be perfectly cheerful under their misfortune, and re- 
signed to their lot. 

On Wednesday I went down to Albany and spent the night with 
Mr. Croswell, editor of the Albany "Argus." With him I also break- 
fasted and dined yesterday, meeting at dinner a number of warm- 
hearted friends. At 5 p. m., my brother and myself went on board a 
steamboat, and arrived here, a distance of about thirty-five miles, about 
dark. 

We have not had a fair day here for a week. The quantity of rain 
which has fallen is prodigious, and the damage done by the rising of 



LETTERS TO HIS WIFE. 327 

the streams very great. We found all the wharves in Albany and Troy 
under water, the houses on the lowest grounds flooded up to the second 
stories, and boats passing through the streets. Immense masses of 
lumber were on the wharves, a large portion of which has been swept 
away. The low lands all along the river are covered, and you may see 
numerous houses apparently standing on the water, with rows of trees, 
orchards, and forests growing out of it. The most melancholy part of 
the story is, that seven or eight lives have been lost, about or near Al- 
bany and Troy, in attempting to save floating property. 

My friends at Washington write me that they regret my absence at 
this time ; but perhaps it was well for me that I have been away. I 
should have given some explanation of Randolph's accounts had I been 
there, which might have exasperated him the more against me ; but now 
it has been done by others. Some other matters have occurred also, 
which make me quite satisfied that I am here at this moment. Yet I 
have a strong desire to be with my dear wife and little flock, and noth- 
ing but Providence shall prevent my speedy return. 

They all tell me here that I am very much improved. I feel nearly 
as stout as usual, and had the weather been good, so that I could have 
ridden on horseback every day, I have no doubt I should have been in 
more than my usual health. The cough I had is gone, but two days 
ago I took a little cold again, which I have not yet got rid of. But I 
have not taken a particle of medicine since I left home. Give my love 
to your father and mother and all the rest, " too numerous to be men- 
tioned in a short advertisement." 

Your affectionate husband, 

AMOS KENDALL. 

TO HIS WIFE. 

Baltimoee, June 6, 1833. 

Dear Jane, • — ■ I suppose you think I have forgotten • you, because I 
have not written twice a day since my return to this city. Will you 
take any excuse ? I will tell you the truth at any rate. Well, then, 
the truth is, I have had more writing to do since I have been here 
than I could accomplish with comfort to myself, and have postponed 
everything I could. Yesterday and to-day I have written over eleven 
sheets, and am not done yet. Will you forgive me now 1 If not, I will 
make it up some way when I get home. With the exception of one 
evening, I have been very well. As to the suit, we are just where we 
were a week ago. The lawyers talk of having it transferred to Wash- 
ington, and making no further attempt with it here. If they go on, 
God only knows when I shall get home. 

Enclose me Mrs. Moore's letters. I shall see the Major here. Do it 



328 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

by to-morrow night's mail, or as soon as you read this. You have my 
love. Give a little of it to the children and the rest. 

Ever your affectionate, 

AMOS KENDALL. 

TO HIS WIFE. 

Baltimore, August 3, 1833. 

My deab Jane, — I have just received Adela's letter of yesterday, in 
which she says, " Mother is not well pleased at all at your not writing 
to her," and the sauce-box adds, " I think that it is too bad myself." So 
to prevent a fair outbreak in my absence, I have snatched up my pen 
just to let you know that I place some value on your good-humor. 
Really, if it would add to your happiness, — and no lady out of humor 
can be happy, — I would write every day, " I am well. How do you 
do ? Your affectionate," etc. 

I have succeeded here in my business quite as well as I expected, and 
go on in high spirits. 

How come on my potatoes, the calf, cow, chickens, pigs, etc. ] I think 
I was promised a letter once a day from one of the little girls, and have 
but one in a week ! I am not " well pleased " myself, and you may tell 
Adela " I think it is too bad." Kiss John for me, and give my love to 
all the rest, and to your father and mother and family. Write me at 
New York. 

Affectionately, 

AMOS KENDALL. 

TO HIS "WIFE. 

Philadelphia, August 6, 1833. 

My dear Jane, — It has just occurred to me that it is no small 
part of my duty to keep you in a good-humor, and as I am left by 
myself a few minutes, I will spend them with you, — that is as nearly 
as I can. 

In the first place, I am very well ; in the next, I am in good spirits ; 
in the next, I wish you were with me, — at least until to-morrow. I 
occupy a large parlor and a bedroom, with two doors, two windows, and 
a double bed, and eat by myself, unless a friend happens to be present 
when meals are ready. 

Who do you think has just left me 1 No other than Robert J. Ward, 
of Kentucky. He tells me that he had a violent attack of cholera, but 
now he looks quite well. 

Almost my whole time is taken up in receiving and talking with 
friends and men of business. This evening I am to meet a committee 
of a bank, — to-morrow morning 'another, and so on. 



LETTEES TO HIS "WIFE. 329 

So you must excuse me if my letters are short. But what shall I 
say of you and the young ladies 1 It is their holiday now, and certainly 
one of them can take care of John while you write, or can write while 
you take care of him. 

I send you a bushel of love, — measure out a quart apiece to the 
children, and keep the rest yourself. 

With enduring affection, 

AMOS KENDALL. 

TO HIS "WIFE. 

Philadelphia, August 9, 1833. 

My dear Jane, — To-morrow I expect to leave this city for New York. 
T had promised to dine out yesterday, but did not want to go, and a 
little bit of sick-headache came along very opportunely to furnish me 
with an excuse. I confess I should have liked a good dinner better. 
Three hours' sleep and a cup of tea put me on my legs again, and I 
am tolerably well to-day. But I am engaged for dinner again, and 
don't* know what the wine may do for me. 

I have been more successful here than I expected, and shall go on my 
way rejoicing, although the bank people abuse me in their newspapers 
most wickedly. 

Have you got my turnip crop in 1 How come on the potatoes, etc 1 
I got Mary Ann's letter to New York, and Adela's to this place, yester- 
day. They don't tell me half the news. " We are well, — hope you 
are so," is about all they say. Now, make them write me every par- 
ticular, — or do it yourself, which would be better. 

The women I have seen here are very ugly, but I have two pictures 
of beautiful girls hanging in my parlor. Looking at them, I have been 
more than half persuaded to have yours taken when I get back, for I 
think it would now be as pretty as they are, and if you should get so 
old and wrinkled that I can't love your beauty, I will look at the picture 
for yoiir outside. Love to all. 

Affectionately, 

AMOS KENDALL. 

TO HIS WIFE. 

New York, August 13, 1833. 
My dear Jane, — I have just received your kind letter, and give 
you a thousand thanks for it. I dearly cherish a letter from you, 
because it comes in the language of a heart which I verily believe 
all devoted to me. It is also a good heart, which means no ill to any 
one, and although, like all of human mould, it has its foibles, they are 
less than those which belong to thousands and tens of thousands. We 
have seen adversity, and you have not been depressed ; we are now in 



330 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

prosperity, and you are not elated. The same virtues of self-denial 
and economy we now practise will, at no distant day, make us inde- 
pendent of the world ; and surely we shall not be so unwise as to spend 
the evening of our lives, after toiling through the day, otherwise than 
serenely and happily. The scenes you speak of in relation to some of 
our friends will never occur between us ; and yet they should be a les- 
son to us and all married people to bear and forbear with one another. 
Let us never speak an unkind word to each other, and if one should 
escape from either in a moment of unguarded excitement, let the other 
not return it. 

Poor Mrs. Riley ! and I may say, poor Mr. Eiley ! See what a little 
adversity does for some people. It puts them out of heart and out of 
temper. Why should we, poor short-sighted creatures, when the storm 
is raging without, quarrel and make ourselves miserable within 1 ? A 
man on whom the world frowns ought to smile upon his little family 
flock and make them happy, by showing that lie is not miserable. Gen- 
erally, the husband who carries a smile home will find smiles to meet 
him, and that which he might make a hell he can make a heaven upon 
earth. 

But I sincerely hope the picture is exaggerated. Discontented maids 
and nurses are not always the most faithful retailers of facts, and should 
be listened to with great allowances. I hope you will not take Mary, 
for I am sure Mrs. Eiley will think hard of it, whatever she may say. 
But if you have taken her, I have nothing more to say, and hope 
she will please you. 

To-morrow I shall start for Boston. I intend so to arrange matters as 
to spend Sunday with my good old father. Soon afterwards, I shall be 
on my way back, but as I shall have to spend probably two days here, 
one day in Philadelphia, and one, or part of one, in Baltimore, I cannot 
be at home before the 25th or 26th of the month. Although I succeed 
rather better than I expected, the business is much more laborious. I 
wrote yesterday with my own hand eleven letters, seven of one page and 
four of two. Besides this, I am overwhelmed with civilities, most of 
which I am obliged to decline. You will readily see, therefore, that I 
have not much time to write letters of affection or amusement. 

I have met here Mr. Van Buren, Mr. Livingston, and Mr. McLane. 
Mrs. Livingston was very sociable, and inquired after you. She told a 
story very flattering to me, which, although it was not in its circum- 
stances true, I was too polite to contradict. 

Said she, " I saw a lady to-day who has a kind remembrance of 
you." 

Said I, " I am very happy to be kindly remembered by a lady." 

She then said she had met with Mrs. Bache, of Philadelphia, and her 



APPOINTED POSTMASTER-GENERAL. 331 

little daughter, who had come on in the steamboat with me from Phil- 
adelphia, and Mrs. Bache told her that I had found her in the boat 
without attendant or protector, and had kindly attended to herself and 
baggage, and provided a conveyance for her to her lodgings. 

This being told before a considerable company, I heard it with all due 
modesty, saying to myself, "Either Mrs. Livingston or Mrs. Bache fibs 
most confoundedly." 

The truth was this : Mr. Whitney came on board to see me as I 
started, and seeing Mrs. Bache there without an attendant, asked me if 
I would take charge of her, to which I answered " most certainly," and 
he introduced me to her. So I chatted with her occasionally on the 
way, and at her request got a hack for her at New York, handed her 
into it, she went one way and I another, and that is the last I have seen 
of her. 

But, as I said before, Mrs. Livingston or Mrs. Bache represented the 
matter much more favorably than it was, and as I could not tell the 
truth without charging one of them with fibbing, I concluded to let it 
pass. 

This is the sum total of my adventures with the ladies since I left 
Washington. 

Well, I have given you a long letter. 

With unabated affection, 

AMOS KENDALL. 

The great industry and ability displayed by Mr. Kendall in his 
office proved him to be qualified for still higher and more respon- 
sible duties. 

The condition of the Post-Ofnce Department had become a 
source of deep anxiety to the President. With astonishment he 
learned that its revenues were insufficient to meet pecuniary en- 
gagements ; contractors were pressing their claims, the credit of 
the department was in jeopardy, and its affairs in inextricable 
confusion. 

Annoyed and embarrassed, the President turned to Mr. Kendall 
and urged upon him the task of rectifying these abuses, and of 
trying to bring order out of the chaos which reigned in this impor- 
tant branch of the government. Though the appeal was a forcible 
one, Mr. Kendall at first hesitated, but when urged upon personal 
grounds, he yielded. 

To aid in the success of the administration which he firmly be- 
lieved to be the triumph of true republican principles, he shrank 
from no sacrifice, thought no undertaking too arduous. He regarded 



332 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

the President as the embodiment of truth and honor. The more 
others abused and slandered him, the brighter did his virtues shine 
in the eyes of Mr. Kendall His admiration of the " old hero," as 
he delighted to call him, increased with time, and, to the day of his 
death, he could not listen to a reproach upon his character with- 
out repelling the slander with a vehemence which astonished and 
silenced the traducer. 

Gigantic as were the difficulties anticipated by Mr. Kendall in 
assuming the direction of the Post-Office Department, the reality 
exceeded his worst fears. 

Though his official conduct was as pure, honest, and faithful to 
the interests of the public as the highest standard of integrity 
could demand, he did not escape calumny and persecution. His 
former experiences had prepared him for the worst his enemies 
could do. 

Any change in the cabinet was a sweet morsel for the opposition 
press, which pretended to see in it presages of new calamities to 
the administration and the country; but that the friends of the 
government were justified in anticipating from this change most 
favorable results, the event abundantly proved. 

On Mr. Kendall's retirement from the Fourth Auditor's office, 
he received a communication handsomely engrossed, signed by 
each clerk, and expressive of gratitude for his uniform courtesy, 
and bearing cheerful testimony to the fidelity and promptness with 
which he had discharged his duties ; to his untiring industry which 
led him to exact less service from his subordinates than he was 
ready to render himself ; and to his great ability and unblemished 
private character. 

This voluntary expression of good-will was highly gratifying to 
Mr. Kendall, who carefully preserved the testimonial among his 
valuable papers. 

The following extracts are taken from prominent papers at this 
time : — 

" POSTMASTER-GENERAL. 

" The rumor is quite rife that Major Barry is going to Spain as Min- 
ister Plenipotentiary, and that Amos Kendall is to succeed him as Post- 
master-General. Mr. Kendall's pre-eminent talents and vigorous business 
habits give an assurance that the public interest will be faithfully as 
well as ably served should he assume that post. But the very fact that 
he is honest and intelligent will be the bitterest part of the potion to 



THE PRESS ON THE APPOINTMENT. 333 

the opposition. Apprehensive that he will deprive them even of a pre- 
text for assailing that Department, the opposition press will open upon 
him with that virulence and abuse which is so characteristic of the 
party. Mr. Kendall may rest assured that his capability and honesty 
are sufficiently known, to leave him without a friend in the ranks of the 
opposition, and to cause him to be viewed as the worst of appointments 
for their purposes." 

"THE POST-OFFICE DEPARTMENT. 

" The opposition papers have announced the probable resignation of 
the present Postmaster-General, and the appointment of Mr. Amos Ken- 
dall to succeed him, and thereupon have commenced an indiscriminate 
and unlimited abuse of Mr. Kendall. It is well known that the incon- 
siderable difficulties which a disposition to accommodate the public has 
caused to grow up in the General Post-Office Department, furnish the 
last key for the cuckoo song of corruption by the opposition against the 
administration, and they are now afraid that if Mr. Kendall is appointed, 
that the last pretext for opposition will be swept from them. They know 
that his indefatigable industry, his honesty, his business habits, his 
acknowledged talents, and his knowledge of mankind will leave nothing 
undone which human ingenuity can effect to place the Department on that 
high and elevated ground which will disarm malignity of its opposition 
and leave nothing for its friends to wish. for. We know nothing about 
a change, nor do we for a moment doubt the ability of Major Barry to 
place the department upon an invulnerable ground; but we have no 
hesitation in believing that if the reported change is made, it will meet 
the approbation of the Democracy of the Union." 

"AMOS KENDALL, ESQ. 

" Letters from Washington state in positive terms that Amos Kendall 
is to take charge of the Post-Office Department as successor to Major 
Barry, whose delicate and declining health requires a change of climate 
and a less laborious station. 

" We most heartily concur in the sentiments expressed by the editor 
of the Baltimore ' Republican ' in the following article upon this sub- 
ject. Mr. Kendall is certainly one of the ablest men of the day, and 
under his skilful direction and management, the affairs of the Post- 
Office Department would be well conducted and wisely administered. 
It is a matter of serious regret to us that circumstances should render 
a release from the cares and responsibilities of this arduous station desir- 
able to Major Barry, whose virtues as a man, and whose merits as a 
public officer have rendered him the object of general esteem and re- 



334 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

gard ; but whilst we lament the necessity which compels us to antici- 
pate the retirement of an officer so faithful to his duties, and so univer- 
sally esteemed by the people, it affords good grounds for congratulation 
to know that the place will probably be supplied by one so well qualified 
in every particular, to give general satisfaction, as the gentleman whose 
name heads this article. The editor of the ' Republican ' says : ' The 
opposition press is groaning in advance at the bare idea of the appoint- 
ment of Mr. Kendall to the Post-Office Department. If the anticipation 
is so afflicting, what will be the effect of the event? That such an 
event may happen is not improbable, if there be any truth in the mourn- 
ful predictions of our adversaries. It may be that Major Barry's ill 
health, aggravated by the persecutions of vindictive enemies, may ren- 
der it agreeable to devote his acknowledged talents to the service of the 
country in a sphere less laborious and equally respectable. It may be 
that he may consent, at his own good time and convenience, to go on a 
mission to Spain. It is known that he enjoys the undiminished confi- 
dence and friendship of the President, and that he will not be removed 
or transferred but by his own choice. If he should retire, what is there 
in the duties of the Post-Office Department to which the habits and 
talents of Amos Kendall are not suited and adequate ? Does it require 
untiring industry 1 — he is known to possess it ; does it require talents 
to rectify any malarrangement or to. reform abuses which may have 
sprung from defective organization of the Department'? — who has quick- 
er penetration to discover or greater firmness to apply the correctives 1 
What more does the opposition require 1 They would fain paralyze his 
exertions by denunciations beforehand, and then complain of want of 
success to which they themselves had contributed. But their efforts 
will be vain. His success in the post of Fourth Auditor in overcoming 
the prejudices that had been excited against him, is but an augury of 
like success in the Post-Office Department, should he be appointed to its 
administration. Amongst officers of the navy there is now an universal 
admission of his capacity, his promptness, and his inflexible impartiality. 
We challenge the opposition to mark our predictions and to note the 
result.' 

" The Albany ' Argus,' in alluding to the rumor that Mr. Kendall is 
to be appointed Postmaster-General, makes the following remarks : 
' We have no knowledge of the alleged intended change in the Post- 
Office Department ; but we say with entire truth, that if Major Barry 
should at any time retire from it, we know of no man to whom its duties 
and responsibilities may be committed with greater propriety, and with 
higher regard to the public interests, than to Mr. Kendall. He pos- 
sesses certainly, in an eminent degree, every requisite qualification for 
the trust. Indeed, upon this subject, if we had not the strongest affir- 



MR. KENDALL'S ACCOUNT OF HIS APPOINTMENT. 335 

mative evidence, the relentless spirit in which he had been pursued by 
the harpies of faction and by the creatures of the bank, would afford of 
itself sufficient proof of the purity of his character, and the force of his 
talents.' We agree with the editor of the ' Argus,' that in case there is 
a change, no person is better qualified than Mr. Kendall to assume the 
responsible duties devolving on the head of the Post-Office Depart- 
ment." 

The following narrative, written by himself, contains an account 
of Mr. Kendall's connection with the Post-Office Department : — 

"During the short session of Congress, in the winter of 1834-35, 
President Jackson said to me that a change was necessary in the head 
of the Post-Office . Department, and asked me whether I would accept 
that position. Nothing could have been more unexpected than such a 
proposition. No intimation had been given by me that any official pro- 
motion would be acceptable, and I am quite sure no one had recom- 
mended this arrangement to the President. Thanking him for his 
kindness to me, I stated that there were, as I thought, conclusive rea- 
sons why such an appointment should not be made. Politically, I had' 
not occupied any of those prominent positions which the practice of the 
government had made prerequisites for cabinet appointments ; that the 
Whig Party, having the ascendency in the Senate, would certainly re- 
ject my nomination ; that my appointment would be looked upon with 
jealousy by his own political friends in Congress ; and finally that I was 
poor, with a large family, and being satisfied that I could never pro- 
vide for them in public life, I had made arrangements to resign the 
office I then held and go into private business. The interview was 
closed by his requesting me to think of the matter a few days and call 
again. 

" In a second interview, I stated that my reflections had confirmed 
my first impressions, and that my appointment was one which ought 
not to be made, either on his own account or mine, and recapitulated 
the objections to it previously raised. I added that as to myself, if 
nominated to the Senate at once, I should be at once rejected, and if ap- 
pointed after the close of the session, the prospect before me would be 
the relinquishment of the favorable chance I then had of going into pri- 
vate business, a year's hard work in f ^e Department, and being at its close 
turned adrift by the Senate without property or income. But after 
urging all these considerations, I concluded by saying that I would make 
the sacrifice and take the office if it would give him any personal relief. 
His reply was, ' There are many men who would be glad to accept the 
Department, and I suppose would put everything right there ; but T 
know you toill.' What could I say more ? Believing that I could rely 



336 AUTOBIOGKAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

more, to sustain myself, on what I could do in the Department, than upon 
any existing claims to the position, I requested that the change should 
be made as soon after the close of the short session of Congress as con- 
venient, and my nomination delayed to near the close of the next long 
session, to which the President readily assented. It was also under- 
stood that the arrangement should not be disclosed until after the 
adjournment of Congress. There was a general understanding, how- 
ever, that a change was to take place, and there was no lack of candi- 
dates for the position. One of them who aspired to it, and wanted my 
recommendation, opened the subject by proposing to me to become a 
candidate myself and offering to recommend me. Well understanding 
that he expected me to decline and would thereupon ask me to assist 
him, I affected to believe him in earnest, and he consented to call on 
the President and urge my appointment, which, I afterwards learned 
from the President, he never did. 

" Soon after the adjournment of Congress it was arranged between the 
President and Major Barry that the latter should resign the Post-Office 
Department on the first of the succeeding May, and accept the mission 
to Russia. It soon became known that I was to be his successor. The 
1st of May arrived, and he did not resign. Certain parties, who had 
reasons for not liking the proposed change, had persuaded him that the 
mission to Russia was but a banishment, and that it would be degra- 
dation to accept it by making way for the promotion of one having so 
little pretension as myself. The President, however, found means to 
obviate the difficulty, and on the 1st of June, 1835, the proposed ar- 
rangement took effect. 

"After it was understood between the President and Major Barry 
that the latter was to resign, he wrote to the former a letter charging 
his two assistants, S. R. Hobbie and C. K. Gardner, with being the 
authors of all his official troubles, and asking leave to dismiss them. 
No very specific charge was made against Major Hobbie, but Colonel 
Gardner, who kept the books containing the accounts of the contractors 
for carrying the mails, was directly charged with gross delinquency. 
The President sent the letter to me, asking my views on the subject. 
The chief clerk of the Department, whom Congress and the public had 
fixed upon as the main cause of the mismanagement of the Department, 
had resigned to avoid dismissal by order of the President, and I could only 
look upon this movement against Hobbie and Gardner as instigated for 
the purpose of transferring the stigma from the guilty to the innocent. 
As such I denounced it to the President, who refused his consent to the 
removal. Subsequent discoveries confirmed my impression. It was 
true that Gardner's books had not shown the true state of the con- 
tractors' accounts, but it was only because the means of making them 



MR. KENDALL'S "ACCOUNT OF HIS APPOINTMENT. 337 

accurate had been withheld from him, and as for Major Hobbie, he had 
opposed even in writing some of the illegal if not corrupt allowances 
which had been made to contractors. 

" The Post-Office Department was then heavily in debt, as well to 
contractors for carrying the mails, as to banks for money borrowed, and 
was without credit, Its management had, at the two preceding ses- 
sions of Congress, been the subject of investigation by committees, and 
by the members opposed to the administration severely condemned, 
while by those in its favor it was but feebly defended. The general im- 
pression was that it had been reckless, and many denounced it as cor- 
rupt. Perhaps none believed that the head of the Department had 
been corrupt, and his best friends who knew his amiable disposition and 
his want of business habits, could readily comprehend how he might 
have been misled by corrupt men about him. 

" I retained Major Hobbie and Colonel Gardner in their places, and 
took with me from the Fourth Auditor's Office two of my best clerks, 
Robert Johnson and Joseph Perry, placing Johnson in charge of the 
accounts. Preston S. Loughborcmgh, a man of superior talents, whom I 
had known from boyhood, and already a clerk in the Department, I 
made my chief clerk. 

" One of my first objects was to make myself acquainted with the 
officers and clerks of the Department, and their several duties. For 
this purpose I visited their rooms, examined their books, and asked all 
needful explanations. While I was on this round, one of the prominent 
clerks who had been suspected of being a secret agent of certain mail 
contractors, after many professions of a disposition to serve me, sug- 
gested that he had the control of funds, and should be happy to accom- 
modate me with loans. He received for answer, ' I never make myself de- 
pendent on those whom it is my duty to control.' ' A very correct prin- 
ciple,' he hurriedly replied. His assent to the principle came too late, 
the prior offer being deemed proof of corruption, and as soon as con- 
venient his services were dispensed with. 

" The impression soon became irresistible that a few powerful mail 
contractors, through favors to the officers and more influential clerks, 
had really controlled the Department, and for their own selfish ends had 
been the cause of all its embarrassments. To put an end to this source 
of corruption, I announced to my subordinates that the acceptance of 
any present of value from any mail contractor, or a free ride in stage 
lines, steamboats, or railroad cars carrying the mails, would be cause for 
instant dismissal, and that the rule prescribed to them I adopted for my 
own guidance. 

" In pursuance of this regulation, when presents and free tickets were 
sent me, I returned them with polite letters, stating that they gave me 

22 



338 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS 'KESTDALL. 

no offence, because I knew such things had been customary, but as I 
had prohibited their acceptance by my subordinates, I deemed it ex- 
pedient to decline them myself. Once only there was an attempt to 
cheat me into a free stage ride. I had occasion to visit the West. 
There was a stage line from Washington to Frederick City, where it 
connected with the line from Baltimore to the West. Arriving at Fred- 
erick, I went to the stage-office to pay my fare to Wheeling. The agent 
told me I was to pay at Cumberland. There the agent told me he was 
instructed to receive nothing from me. Arriving at Wheeling, I en- 
closed the ordinary fare to Richard Stockton, the leading contractor, 
living at Baltimore. To avoid a similar difficulty farther West, I went 
to the stage-office immediately on arrival and paid the fare. In the 
course of the evening, one of the contractors who lived there brought 
to me at my hotel the money paid, which I politely declined to 
receive. 

" Extensive curtailments of mail service had been recently ordered by 
the President, for the purpose of bringing the expenses of the Depart- 
ment within its income, and one of my first objects was to ascertain 
whether enough had been done to insure that end. The result was 
affirmative. Under these circumstances, it appeared to me easy to 
restore the credit of the Department. For that purpose I announced 
that at the end of the current, and every subsequent quarter, the 
amount due to contractors for that quarter would be punctually paid, 
and that pre-existing debts would be paid as fast as the Department 
should acquire the means. To ascertain whether anything could be 
done to hasten that result, my attention was turned to the mode in 
which its revenues were collected and disbursed. There were then 
about thirteen thousand post-offices in the United States. Those in 
the cities and the larger offices near them, not more than about a thou- 
sand in all, deposited their net receipts in the banks to the credit of the 
Department, whence they were drawn by its checks chiefly to pay con- 
tractors for carrying the mails. The other twelve thousand retained 
their receipts until drawn upon, and this was not done until their quar- 
terly accounts were settled and the balance due ascertained at the De- 
partment. The practical effect of the system was not only to render 
the revenues derived from these offices in any one quarter unavailable 
for the whole or a large portion of the next quarter, but to allow the 
income of the small offices to accumulate on hand for several quarters 
before the Department deemed the amount worth drawing for. Inas- 
much as on a vast majority of the mail routes the quarterly receipts 
were insufficient to pay for carrying the mail on those routes, it seemed 
to me practicable and desirable that the postmasters should pay over to 
the mail contractors on their respective routes the net income of their 



MR. KENDALL'S POST-OFFICE REFORMS. 339 

offices at the end of each quarter. I made the suggestion to assistants 
and others of my most intelligent and experienced subordinates in the 
Department, all of whom pronounced such an arrangement impracticable. 
It did not seem so to me, and after mature reflection I determined to 
adopt it. As it was to be introduced on my sole responsibility, I re- 
solved to arrange all the details myself. The books of the Department 
enabled me to ascertain precisely what was the amount required to pay 
for the transportation of the mails on each route, and, by reference to 
previous receipts, to estimate with sufficient accuracy the revenue ac- 
cruing on that route. My purpose was to examine every mail route in 
the United States, and designate the offices which should pay directly 
to the mail contractors ; also such as should retain their receipts until 
drawn upon ; and also such as should be required to deposit them in 
banks. These details were all arranged by me in twenty out of the 
twenty-four States then in the Union, and in the other four by an 
intelligent clerk, whose aid I found necessary to get the new system 
in operation in the fall of 1835. The three classes of offices were 
called respectively ' collection offices,' ' draft offices,' and ' deposit 
offices.' 

" Prior to the close of each quarter, every mail contractor was fur- 
nished with a list of the collection offices on his route, and he was re- 
quired to call upon each postmaster, in person or by his agent, within 
two weeks after the close of the quarter, and demand his net income for 
that quarter, as shown by his own account current. Having made the 
demand at every collection office on his route, the contractor was re- 
quired, after giving duplicate receipts to each paying postmaster, to re- 
turn the list sent him, called an acknowledgment, noting on it the 
amount received from each office, and if any postmaster had failed to 
pay, give the reason for his delinquency. The adjustment was upon 
the principle that the contractors should not receive more than seventy- 
five per cent of their quarter's pay from the collection offices, and to 
secure their fidelity in making the demand, they were informed that 
the balance would not be paid until they satisfied the Department that 
they had called on every office and had reported the result truly. A 
circular was sent to the postmasters at all the collection offices, requiring 
them to close up their quarterly accounts immediately after the end of 
each quarter, and to pay over to the contractor on demand the entire 
amount which was admitted by his account current to be due to the De- 
partment, taking duplicate receipts. One of these constituted a voucher 
in his accounts. 

" The deposit offices were required to make deposits more or less 
frequently, according to the estimated amount of their current receipts, 
the purpose being to prevent the accumulation of sums in their hands. 



340 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

Each deposit, it was required, should be reported when made, and the* 
certificate of deposit forwarded to the Department. 

" The draft offices were only those reserved on routes wherever the 
post-office revenue exceeded seventy-five per cent of the contractor's 
quarterly pay, which were so situated that they could not conveniently 
be made deposit offices. Their proceeds were always drawn upon to pay 
contractors in their vicinity, in preference to checking upon funds in 
bank. 

" The new system went into operation in October, 1835. Nothing- 
could have been more satisfactory. It rendered the entire income of the 
preceding quarter available for payment of the quarter's expenses. Al- 
though the order to postmasters was expressly limited to the payment 
of the income of the preceding quarter, some of them paid over all the 
accumulations of all preceding quarters then on hand, so that a few 
contractors were overpaid. But no loss was incurred, the overpayments 
being set off against their next quarterly dues. 

" Finding, in October and November, that the means of the Depart- 
ment would far exceed the demands upon it for the preceding quarter's 
service, I commenced paying the old debts, and thenceforward paid them 
whenever presented. A large portion of the debt was due to banks 
which did not press for payment; but during the winter of 1835 — 36, 
and early in the spring of 1836, the amounts due to them were all paid 
off. 

" After I had acquired a partial view of the condition of the Depart- 
ment, in the summer of 1 835 I told the President he must be satisfied 
if it were freed from debt before his retirement from office, on the 4th 
of March, 1837. About the 1st of April, 1836, I had the satisfaction 
of reporting to him that the Department was free from debt. This re- 
sult was attained not only by rendering the current receipts promptly 
available, but by collecting the old balances in the hands of postmasters, 
generally small, but considerable in the aggregate, largely aided by an 
increase of revenue, and somewhat by suspension of payments to a few 
contractors who appeared to be overpaid. 

" In the outset, I superintended the operations of the system myself, 
aud carried on a large portion of the correspondence. Years afterwards 
I met with a man who had been a postmaster in the interior of Penn- 
sylvania, and had on the first call of the contractor been in default. 
He informed me that he was surprised at receiving a letter in my own 
handwriting asking why he had not paid, and on replying that he was 
not at home when the contractor called, received another letter from me 
informing him that such an excuse, though accepted for the occasion, 
would not be deemed sufficient thereafter, because it was easy for him, 
if called away, to leave with his family, or whoever might have charge 



MR. KENDALL'S POST-OFFICE REFORMS. 34^ 

of his office, the amount payable to the contractor. This case is men- 
tioned as an illustration. 

" It was one of the merits of the system that it brought all the col- 
lection offices under the direct supervision of the Department every 
quarter, and rendered defaults, without its knowledge, impossible. A 
leading principle adopted by me in its administration was to make post- 
masters and contractors feel that its eye was constantly upon them, not 
only collectively, but individually, so that no abuse could be practised 
and no neglect indulged in without its immediate knowledge. To that 
end it was made the duty of a special clerk to watch over the pecuniary 
concerns of the post-offices, to promptly require explanations of all 
postmasters reported in default by contractors, to see that the deposit 
offices made regular deposits as required, and in every case of neglect 
to demand an explanation, and to watch the accumulation of funds in 
the draft offices, and see that they promptly paid when drawn upon. 
He was required to report all delinquencies, as soon as ascertained, to the 
Postmaster-General. 

"Under this system, the revenues of the Department, then over four 
millions of dollars annually, were collected and disbursed without any 
expense to itself. 

" There had been many complaints about the irregular transportation 
of the mails in various sections of the country, and it was deemed my 
duty to inquire into the cause, and, if practicable, apply the remedy. 
The main cause was found to be unwarranted lenity towards the con- 
tractors. In all the mail contracts the Department stipulated for the 
power to fine the contractors for failures to arrive within the prescribed 
time, and other defaults, and although fines had been frequently im- 
posed, they had been almost uniformly afterwards remitted, and thus 
the power was rendered practically nugatory. It was also soon per- 
ceived that on the principal mail routes the postmasters whose duty it 
was to report failures and their causes, were generally inclined to find 
excuses for the contractors, and were not in this respect a safe reliance 
for the Department. To insure efficiency in the transportation of the 
mails, it seemed necessary to introduce some system which should make 
the contractors feel that they were always under the direct supervision 
of the Department. For that purpose a new bureau was established, 
called ' The Inspection Office,' in which books were kept showing the 
time fixed in the contracts for the departure and arrival of the mails at 
the termini of every mail route in the United States. The postmasters 
at all these points were required to report periodically and without com- 
ment the exact time of the departure and arrival of every mail by fill- 
ing up and returning blanks furnished them for that purpose. The con- 
tractors were informed that, in cases of failure, the Department would 



342 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

wait a reasonable time for their excuses, and if none were given would 
proceed to impose an appropriate fine, and that unless it were shown 
that the postmaster's report was inaccurate, or that the Department had 
made a mistake, no fine would be remitted, even though a good excuse 
might afterwards be given. This was necessary to insure punctuality 
and produce despatch in the business of the Department. A competent 
number of clerks were employed in examining the reports of postmasters, 
and entering all failures upon books which were first examined by the 
head of the bureau, and by him presented to the Postmaster-General, 
with his opinion as to the justice or propriety of fining the contractor. 
Every fine was at once charged up against the contractor, who was noti- 
fied by letter. 

" "When I entered the Department there were two Assistant Postmas- 
ter-Generals, between whom the United States was divided, each having 
charge of the post-offices, mail contracts, and their execution, in his 
division. This arrangement, by burdening the assistants' minds with 
duties entirely dissimilar in their nature, did not seem to me conducive 
to promptitude or uniformity in the administration of the Department. 
I therefore separated the duties as follows : — 

"All that pertained to the establishment, supervision, and discon- 
tinuance of post-offices was assigned to the first assistant, whose office 
was called ' The Appointment Office.' 

" All that pertained to mail routes and the performance of contracts 
for carrying the mails, was assigned to the second assistant, whose office 
was called ' The Contract Office.' 

" All that pertained to the performance of mail service under con- 
tracts, was assigned to the third assistant, whose office was called ' The 
Inspection Office.' 

" Financial affairs, mail depredations, and miscellaneous matters were 
under the supervision of the Postmaster-General himself, through his 
chief clerk. 

" I had long been led to dislike, from moral considerations as well as 
public policy, the use of fiction in law proceedings and the business of 
the government, and had, as far as I had the power, made them to con- 
form to the truth. In the commissions of postmasters was found one 
of those fictions, which was not only false in fact, but involved a legal 
doubt, which might some day be solved to the disadvantage of the Depart- 
ment. The process in the appointment of postmasters was as follows : 
The appointment was by letter ; but the appointee was not recognized 
as in office, and entitled to enter upon its duties, until he had executed 
and returned to the Department a bond for the faithful performance of 
its duties, with acceptable securities. Having done this, a commission 
was sent to him bearing the date of his letter of appointment. The 



MR. KEXDALL'S POST-OFFICE REFORMS. 343 

commission was false, in the fact that it represented him to be postmas- 
ter from the date of his appointment, when he was not postmaster until 
the acceptance of his bond. I therefore changed the form of the com- 
mission so as to recite the preliminary proceedings in a preamble, and 
give it the date of its actual issue. 

" An analogous evil existed in the omission of dates and the absence 
of regular records. Decisions of the Postmaster-General, involving 
thousands of dollars, had been recorded only on slips of paper, having 
no dates, and in one instance the only clue to $ 25,000 of Department 
acceptances was a list of them without date on a half-sheet of cap 
paper, with the initials of the gentleman to whom they had been 
handed. The practice of omitting dates, and sometimes giving false 
dates, pervaded all branches of the Department, making it extremely 
difficult to investigate satisfactorily some of its most important trans- 
actions. To put an end to this practice, I directed my subordinates to 
annex the true date to all their official transactions. I adopted the 
same practice myself. In the appointment office a journal was kept, 
which showed the decisions of each day. So did the books of the con- 
tract office. In special cases, the decisions, with the dates, were entered 
on the papers and immediately communicated to the parties interested, 
orally if present, and by letter if absent. 

" It seemed to me remarkable, inasmuch as the law required the De- 
partment to accept the lowest responsible bidder, that for many years 
the most important mail contracts had been, at every letting, secured by 
the same sets of men. Prior to the first letting under my administra- 
tion, one of those men called on me at my residence and inquired of me 
whether I intended to secure the contracts to the old and faithful con- 
tractors, as my predecessors had done. I replied that I should be veiy 
glad to retain them in the service, but as the law required me to accept 
the lowest responsible bid, I did not see how I could do anything to 
secure the contracts to them if they were underbid. He said it had 
been done through private understandings, prior to the lettings, between 
the contractors and the Department. He was told there could be no 
private understandings with me, and that the contracts would be given 
to the lowest responsible bidders, as required by law. He lost his 
contracts. 

" There were two modes by which contracts had been secured to old 
contractors. One was by bidding so low that no man could afford to 
carry the mails for that price, with the understanding that the service 
was to be 'improved,' as it was called, by additional trips or increased 
speed, or under some other pretence, so as to make the contract a profit- 
able one. By this process a bid of a few thousands sometimes became 
a contract of many thousands. The other mode of retaining ' old and 



344 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

faithful contractors ' was by means of what were called ' straw bids.' 
The contractors would themselves put in a bid which, if accepted, would 
give them a very liberal compensation. But as they could really afford 
to render the service for much less, they would engage irresponsible 
persons to put in a series of lower bids, the lowest being for the very 
lowest price they were willing to carry the mail. If there was no bona 
fide bid below their own, then all the lower bidders turned out to be 
vagabonds, who could give no security, and the contract was awarded 
to the old contractors upon their own bid. But if there was a bona fide 
bid below their own, then all the ' straw-bidders ' disappeared, except the 
one next below the competing bona fide bidder who was found to be able 
to give security; but his contract was soon assigned to the old con- 
tractors. 

"By one or the other of these processes, 'the old and faithful con- 
tractors 1 had been kept in service, and all real competition on their 
routes effectually prevented. 

" The law was already sufficiently explicit in requiring the acceptance 
of the lowest bid, and also in regulating allowances for bona fide im- 
proved service, and in those respects there appeared to be little chance 
of improving existing safeguards against abuses. The only effective pre- 
ventive appeared to consist in honesty and sound judgment in the 
administration of the Department. It was otherwise with the ' straw 
bids.' The Department could not effectually defend itself against that 
abuse without additional regulation. The most effective preventive 
of this abuse, it appeared to me, was to be looked for in attaching ad- 
ditional responsibilities to bidders. This was effected by requiring all 
bidders to file with their bids the guaranty of two responsible citizens, 
whose competency should be abundantly certified, that the bidder 
should enter into contract with good securities for the performance of 
the service. Thenceforward all ' straw-bidding ' ceased. 

" Up to this time the post-office had not been organized as an inde- 
pendent Department of the government, though the Postmaster-General 
had, for some years, been recognized as a member of the cabinet. Nomi- 
nally the Postmaster-General was in law a responsible agent of the 
government, receiving and disbursing the postage revenues, and account- 
ing therefor to the Treasury Department. The settlement of his ac- 
counts, however, had become a mere form, and in effect be was in that 
respect wholly irresponsible. Here was a large revenue expended with- 
out appropriation by Congress, and without even nominally going into 
the Treasury. 

"The Post-Office Law of 1835, drawn under my supervision, and 
passed with very slight changes, put an end to these anomalies. It 
organized the Post-Office as a separate and independent Department, 



MR. KENDALL'S POST-OFFICE REFORMS. 345 

It provided an Auditor in the Treasury Department for the settlement 
of its accounts. It provided that its revenues should theoretically, if 
not actually, go into the Treasury, and be expended in pursuance of 
appropriations. It took from the Postmaster-General all control over 
accounts, except in cases arising out of unforeseen contingencies. It 
legalized all changes made by me in the Department which required the 
sanction of law. But there were some important differences between 
this organization and that of the other Departments, suggested by my 
experience and observation as Fourth Auditor of the Treasury. 

" ' Specific appropriations ' constituted one of the boasted reforms in- 
troduced into the government by President Jefferson. In the Navy 
Department, for example, the Secretary was required to estimate how 
much money he would require each year for pay, for provisions, for 
repairs, etc., and these sums were appropriated separately. By general 
laws the Secretary and his disbursing officers were forbidden to expend 
the money appropriated for one purpose on any other object, whatever 
might be the emergency. But in case the appropriation under any one 
head became exhausted, the Secretary never hesitated to draw upon 
some other head to supply the deficiency. To such an extent had this 
been done, that the Fourth Auditor's books showed that millions of 
dollars had been thus expended in violation of law, though perhaps 
every dollar was honestly devoted to the public service. In the settle- 
ment of the disbursing officer's accounts, they were charged under the 
head of the appropriation from which the money had been drawn, and 
credited under the head under which it had been expended, so that 
nothing was necessarily due from them, although their accounts could 
not be closed. There was nothing in the reports of the public expendi- 
tures made to Congress showing these facts. Those reports are not true 
reports of the actual expenditures, but only of money drawn from the 
Treasury. In this respect they are true. But there are always thou- 
sands if not millions of money remaining in the hands of disbursing 
officers unexpended, which are thus reported as expended. Thus it is 
that the object of specific appropriations is defeated, and the practical 
operation of the system concealed from Congress. 

" The truth is, the system, especially in relation to the Navy Depart- 
ment, is absurd and cannot be strictly enforced without great detriment 
to the public service, A public ship is dismasted in the China seas ; the 
purser has plenty of money under the head of 'Pay' or 'Provisions,' 
but little or none under the head of 'Repairs.' The law must be 
violated, or the repairs cannot be made until he has sent to the Navy 
Department at Washington and received money under the head of 
'Repairs.' Though this is an extreme case, it illustrates the absurdity 
of the system, — a system which does not accomplish the object for 



346 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

■which it was introduced, and often makes it the duty of the public offi- 
cer to disregard the law. The object of the system is to secure respon- 
sibility in the public expenditures. It fails in that, because the actual 
expenditures are never reported, and instead of facilitating the public 
service, when it affects it at all, it is as an obstruction. In this view of 
the subject, I came to the conclusion that although specific appropria- 
tions in certain cases, such as salaries, the erection of public buildings, 
and all similar objects are proper, they are not useful or desirable in 
reference to the current expenditures of the Departments. Specific ap- 
propriations cannot be of any use without specific accountability. My 
object was to secure the latter in the Post-Office Department without 
incurring the inconvenience of the former. 

" The Act of 1836, therefore, directed the Postmaster-General to esti- 
mate the amounts which would be required for the service of the 
Department under certain specific heads, such as mail transportation, 
compensation of postmasters, mail-bags, etc., etc., the aggregate to be 
appropriated under the general head ' For the service of the Post-Office 
Department,' but to be accounted for under the specific heads of the 
estimate, By this plan specific accountability was secured, the possible 
necessity of violating the law by transfers avoided, a prompt settlement 
of accounts made necessary, the actual expenditures truly reported, and 
Congress enabled to compare them with the estimates, — a process im- 
possible under the system of the other Departments. The appropria- 
tions were thus made for two or three years, and the accountability was 
as perfect as human ingenuity could make it ; but so deep was the preju- 
dice in favor of specific appropriations under all circumstances, that it 
always met with opposition in the Committee of Ways and Means, and 
finally its chairman, Mr. Cambreling of New York, insisted on making 
a separate appropriation for each head of estimated expenditure. No 
possible good and not much possible evil could flow from the change 
in the Post-Office Department ; but it was hoped that the example of 
that Department would lead to the adoption of the principle of specific 
accountability in the other Departments. To this day (1867) they re- 
tain the old system, reporting to Congress as expended all sums drawn 
from the Treasury, though millions may remain unexpended in the 
hands of public agents, and although other millions may remain un- 
accounted for in consequence of the non-rendition or non-settlement of 
their accounts. But of all this, under their system, Congress remains 
profoundly ignorant. 

" Another important difference between the Post-Office as organized in 
1836 and the other Departments consisted in the machinery for settliug 
its accounts and obtaining payment of sums found due. In them the 
machinery for settling accounts consisted of auditors and comptrollers. 



MR. KENDALL'S POST-OFFICE REFORMS. 347 

Accounts were first examined in the Auditors' offices and theoretically 
re-examined and revised in the Comptrollers' offices. Practically an 
effective revision was impracticable for want of a sufficient number of 
clerks in the Comptrollers' offices. For instance, — the Fourth Audi- 
tor's office contained sixteen clerks when I held it, and the Second 
Comptroller's contained eight to revise their work, and of these eight, 
three were employed in keeping books, balancing an equal number so 
employed in the Auditor's office. Practically, here were five clerks to 
revise the work of thirteen. Of course the re-examination was extremely 
superficial, and in many cases was entirely pretermitted, as I had 
abundant evidences. Instead of being an effective check upon the 
Auditor's office, the Comptroller's was more a shield to cover its errors 
and lessen its sense of responsibility. 

" In the organization of the Post-Office, therefore, the revision of the 
settlements is dispensed with, and the action of the Auditor's office 
rendered final unless the claimant or the Postmaster-General shall be 
dissatisfied, in which event an appeal may be taken to the First Comp- 
troller of the Treasury. The Postmaster-General himself has no other 
rightful control over accounts except in cases of a contingent nature not 
defined by law, regulation, or contract, — the Auditor being wholly 
independent of him. 

" When the Fourth Auditor has passed an account he sends it with 
the vouchers to the Second Comptroller. When he has passed upon it, 
if anything be due, it is reported to the Secretary of the Navy. The 
Secretary issues a requisition for the amount on the Secretary of the 
Treasury. This goes back through the Second Comptroller's and 
Fourth Auditor's offices, where it is charged to the claimant and to the 
proper appropriation. It then goes to the Secretary of the Treasury, 
who issues his warrant on the Treasury for the amount. This has to 
pass through the First Comptroller's and the Register's offices before it 
can reach the Treasurer. The claimant has to go to seven different 
offices, and to two of them twice, before he can get his money. If the 
chiefs of all the offices are at their posts, and there be no unusual 
obstruction, it is still a hard day's work to get an unquestioned Navy 
or Army claim through the Treasury. In the Post-Office, such a Post- 
Office claim may be passed in half an hour. The Auditor reports it to 
the Postmaster-General, who draws his warrant on the Treasurer, which 
goes back to the Auditor's office, where it is charged to the claimant 
and to the appropriation, and thence it goes directly to the Treasurer. 
Thus a tedious and unnecessary circumlocution is avoided, and both 
time and money saved to the government and the claimant." 



CHAPTEE XIII. 

" When I entered the Department its accounts with some of the prin- 
cipal contractors were in a most confused state, as well as those of some 
postmasters, particularly those of James Reeside, Stockton and Stokes, 
and Samuel L. Governeur, postmaster in the city of New York. Not 
only did these contractors appear to be overpaid, but they had received 
large sums in acceptances which had been negotiated in various banks. 
I doubted the legality of these acceptances, and had no doubt of their 
impropriety. But as I felt bo\ind not to pay these contractors any- 
thing until their current quarterly compensation should have cancelled 
the overpayments in their accounts, the means of paying the discounted 
acceptances all at once would be cut off; they would, unless some indul- 
gence were extended, be discredited, and would probably be unable to 
continue the service. Under these circumstances I consented to fur- 
nish them with new acceptances, to be used only for the purpose of 
taking up those already discounted, upon their pledge of honor to apply 
them solely to that object, and ultimately take them up. Not believing 
that I had lawful authority to bind the government or the Department 
to pay out of its funds when nothing was due, the acceptances were 
made on the express condition of payment only in the event that the 
amount should be due when they came to maturity. Stockton and 
Stokes honorably redeemed their pledges ; but Reeside suffered the 
acceptances to be protested, and withdrew from the service of the De- 
partment, though already indebted to it, as appeared by its books, 
many thousand dollars. This balance he did not contest. Yet, some 
years afterwards, in the trial of a suit against him in a Philadelphia 
court to recover judgment for it, he obtained a certificate from the jury 
that the Department was indebted to him about three hundred thou- 
sand dollars ! And this amount was afterwards allowed by Congress 
with interest. 

"By what means the decision of the jury or of Congress was obtained 
I never knew. In neither case was I called upon to testify. All I 
know is that no such claims were ever presented to me, and that Mr. 
Reeside did not, at the time, question the correctness of the settlement. 

" The account of Samuel L. Governeur, postmaster at New York, had 



POSTMASTER GOVERNEURS CASE. 349 

not been settled for several years. Circumstances had led to suspicions 
of his fidelity. But though I had serious thoughts of removing him, 
occurrences, after I became Postmaster-General, determined me to retain 
him. I so informed him, at the same time stating that it was abso- 
lutely necessary for him to close up his accounts. His evasions and 
delays excited new suspicions. There was. an item on the debit side of 
his account which he declared belonged to the account of James Ree- 
side, the mail contractor, but had been put to his debit to conceal the 
true condition of Reeside's account from the investigating committees 
of Congress. He presented no evidence of the truth of the assertion, 
but it seemed from the nature of the item that it had no appropriate 
place in a postmaster's account ; yet it was incredible that it should 
have been placed there without some reason. While the item was 
under consideration, the accountant of the Department brought me a 
half-sheet of cap paper on which was a list of acceptances amounting 
to $ 25,000, having at the foot the initials J. A. H., and my chief clerk 
stated that he had heard vague rumors indicating that the Department 
had had pecuniary transactions with James A. Hamilton, Esq., of New 
York. Upon the basis of these indications, I wrote to Mr. Hamilton. 
He promptly replied, that at some time in the administration of my 
predecessor, he was in Washington, and learning that the Post-Office 
Department wanted a temporary loan, he tendered his services to aid in 
the operation, that acceptances to the amount of $ 25,000 were placed 
in his hands for the purpose of raising money by getting them dis- 
counted in the banks ; that he was unable to get them discounted, but 
that he raised $ 25,000 on his own credit and handed it to Mr. Gover- 
neur ; that it was afterwards repaid by Mr. Governeur ; that he had under- 
taken to raise the money on condition that his name should not appear on 
the books of the. Department ; and that the acceptances were still in his 
possession. This explained the mystery. Mr. Governeur had not charged 
himself with the $ 25,000 received from Mr. Hamilton, but in lieu 
thereof, had charged himself with sums advanced by him to refund that 
loan, thus converting an apparent credit into a debit. So wrong did 
this appear to be, that I had promised him to strike out the item 
unless the Department should be able to show why it was so entered. 
Mr. Hamilton's letter afforded the explanation. The account was recti- 
fied by transferring this debit to the credit side of his account, and 
charging him with the $ 25,000 received from Mr. Hamilton. But 
what could be said of Mr. Governeur ] He had in this matter palpably 
attempted to cheat the government out of $ 25,000, by insisting on hav- 
ing this charge struck out, and concealing the fact that he had received 
that sum, not otherwise accounted for, in whole or in part. He was dis- 
missed, and was found to be a defaulter in a large sum. 



350 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

" But the case which illustrates more strikingly than any other in 
that Department the power of corruption in a government, and the fate 
of an honest man who endeavors to put a stop to it, is that of Stockton 
and Stokes. They had long carried the mails in post-coaches between 
Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, and between Baltimore and 
Wheeling. They were of that class of ' old and faithful contractors ' 
who procured a continuance of their contracts by ' private understand- 
ings between them and the Department,' had before the lettings, and by 
means of very low bids, afterwards ' improved.' They transported in 
their coaches, free of charge, prominent members of Congress, members 
of the Executive, judges, influential citizens, and not only the Postmas- 
ter-General, but all of his subordinates in the Department who were sup- 
posed to have influence there. When General Jackson went on to Washing- 
ton in the winter of 1828-29, to enter upon the office of President, they 
refused to receive the usual fare from him, and not to feel under obliga- 
tions to them, he sent to Mrs. Stockton a present of greater value than the 
fare. His private secretary, Major Donaldson, refused to enter an extra 
coach, gratuitously offered to convey him and his party from Frederick 
City to Washington, until they had paid the ordinary fare. It was these 
men who attempted to cheat me into a free passage from Frederick 
City to Wheeling, through instruction to their agents. Few, however, 
declined the tendered freedom of their coaches, and thus it was that 
the executive, legislative, and judicial departments of the government 
were in a great measure filled with men whose money they had saved 
by this apparent liberality. If this was not corruption, there is a moral 
difference between giving a man money for his influence or saving his 
money by a valuable service, the object being the same. 

" Soon after I took charge of the Department, I learned that a large 
sum had been recently carried to the credit of Stockton and Stokes, ap- 
parently in consideration of services for which, if there was any truth 
in the reports of the committees of Congress, they had previously been 
overpaid. This discovery was very alarming in two aspects. First, it 
apparently added that sum to the responsibilities of the Department, 
already overwhelmed with debt. Secondly, if the reports of the com- 
mittee on this case were to any extent true, here was a considerable 
amount, unknown to them, added to the allowances they had condemned, 
and presenting the question as to what was my own duty in the premises. 
It was my desire, as far as consistent with duty, to avoid conflict with 
the decisions of my predecessor, and at the same time to do my duty, 
whatever might be the consequences. I consulted the President, who 
remitted the matter to my discretion. As I was uninformed of the basis 
on which this allowance rested, and only knew that it was in conflict 
with the opinions of the committee, and therefore prima facie wrong, I 



THE STOCKTON AND STOKES CASE. 351 

ordered its suspension from the credit of the contractors until a more 
mature knowledge of the affairs of the Department should enable me 
better to understand it. My predecessor was still in Washington, and 
on hearing of this decision was much excited, and meeting my chief 
clerk declared in his own words that ' Mr. Kendall shall not make a 
Toby Watkins of me.' I sent for him, and assured him that while I 
should do my duty in the Department, I should do it in a spirit of the 
utmost kindness towards him ; that if he did not make himself the 
partisan of the contractors, but left them to rely on his official acts as 
shown in the Department, there would be no quarrel between him and 
me ; that my action in this case was not definitive ; that as soon as I was 
able I should investigate the whole matter, and restore the credit if I 
found I could do so consistently with my duty to the public. As to the 
allowance, the only defence he set up for it was, that without it the con- 
tractors would be ruined, so great were their losses in attempting to 
expedite the mails. He left me in a good humor, promising to refer 
all parties who might question him as to his official acts to the records 
and files of the Post-Office Department. 

"As soon as I conveniently could, I entered upon the promised in- 
vestigation. I found that this was not a recent allowance, though lately 
entered on the books ; that it had been made on a loose slip of paper 
some time before ; that the slip was retained in the Postmaster-Gen- 
eral's drawer until the committees of Congress were supposed to have 
finished their investigations ; that it was never seen by them ; and that 
the money was paid over to the contractors soon after the allowance 
was ordered, producing in whole or in part the apparent overpayment 
in their accounts on the books of the Department. This obviated the 
impression that it had added its amount to the debts of the Department, 
but it did not show that it had any basis in law or in services rendered. 
In short, the investigation conclusively showed that the entire allowance 
was nothing more nor less than a gratuity to the contractors, which 
might or might not have been necessary to save them from ruin. 

" While this question was still undecided, a circumstance occurred 
which certainly did not aid the cause of the contractors. Major Eaton, 
General Jackson's first Secretary of War, and his wife were warm friends 
of Richard Stockton, the leading member of the firm of Stockton and 
Stokes. While I was investigating this affair, Mrs. Eaton called on 
Mrs. Kendall and told her that if she would induce her husband to 
allow this claim, Mrs. Stockton would give her a carriage and pair of 
horses. 

" The investigation ended in making the suspension permanent, on 
the ground that the credit was an error, having neither law nor equity 
to sustain it. 



352 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

" Prima facie it was impossible for me to conceive that the condem- 
nation of the Department for its allowances to these men was sheer 
hypocrisy, designed merely for political effect, much less that Congress 
would in any way give countenance to the addition of one hundred and 
twenty thousand dollars to the hundred and odd thousand already al- 
lowed them, as the committee alleged, contrary to law. But I was mis- 
taken. Stockton and Stokes petitioned Congress for relief, and that 
body, without calling on the Department for information or explanation, 
passed an act vesting the power to settle the claim in the Solicitor of 
the Treasury, a friend of the contractors, from the State of Maryland. 
Those who had denounced the Department for its illegal allowances were 
now dumb, and I did not think it my duty to volunteer information, al- 
though I had afterwards cause to regret that I did not then take steps 
to have a call made. 

" The Solicitor of the Treasury, without calling upon me for any evi- 
dence contained in the books and files of the Department, or information 
of any sort, sent me an award allowing not only the entire amount 
originally claimed by Stockton and Stokes, but about forty thousand 
dollars in addition thereto, based upon claims which had never been 
heard of in the Department ! To say that I was shocked by the de- 
cision, is but a faint description of my sensations. I thought it my 
duty, if I could by any lawful means, to prevent the consummation of 
such an outrage on the Department. I therefore addressed a letter to 
tho Solicitor, assuring him that the Department contained abundant 
evidence that nothing of this large sum was due to the claimants in law 
or equity, and asking him to withdraw his award, and allow me to pre- 
sent those evidences before him. To this he assented, and I furnished 
him with what seemed to me conclusive proofs that not a particle of 
service had been rendered the Department for the hundred and sixty 
thousand dollars which he proposed to allow. Nevertheless, he returned 
the award without any material alteration, except in one small item 
which in his haste he had allowed twice over. As there was no ques- 
tion of his legal power to allow all of the claims which had formed the 
basis of the legislation of Congress, I proceeded to pay those claims in 
full ; but I refused to pay the amount added by the solicitor upon new 
claims which had never been presented to the Department or Congress, 
had never been a subject of dispute, and of course did not come under 
his jurisdiction. 

" Stockton and Stokes applied to Congress for the passage of an ex- 
planatory act or resolution to enable them to realize the balance of the 
award. No effective action took place in the House of Representatives. 
In the Senate it was referred to the Post-Office Committee, of which 
Mr. Felix Grundy was chairman. He called on me, as I at first sup- 



THE STOCKTON AND STOKES CASE. 353 

posed, to obtain information ; but it soon appeared that his real object 
was to prevent my giving information, and induce me silently to acquiesce 
in the passage of a resolution directing the payment of the residue of 
the award. I reminded him that Congress had passed the original act 
implying that there might be something wrong in recharging the con- 
tractors with the sums in controversy without giving me an opportunity 
to defend my official action, which implication was strengthened by the 
action of the Solicitor, and now it was proposed to take another step 
implying that I had failed to obey a law, without giving me an oppor- 
tunity to defend myself; that it was due to me and the public interest 
that the committee or the Senate should call upon me to state why 1 
had not executed the award in full. Upon his evincing a disposition not 
to do so, I became excited, and told him the time had come when / 
would be heard ; that I would no longer submit in silence to the impu- 
tations upon myself, and virtual plundering, of the Department over 
which I presided, and if his committee did not call upon me for an ex- 
planation, I would send one direct to the Senate. He left me, himself 
greatly excited, and went to the President, Mr. Van Buren. What 
passed between them I never knew ; but the President sent for me, and 
suggested that it was unusual for the head of a Department, without 
being called on, to address the Houses of Congress, and proposed that 
I should make report of the case to him, and he would send it to the 
Senate. This course was finally adopted ; but Mr. Grundy found means 
to defeat my object. The report was referred to the Post-Office Com- 
mittee without being read or printed, and of course went into the hands 
of Mr. Grundy. Years afterwards, when the merits of the controversy 
had become generally known, one of the members of that committee 
informed me that my report was not read in the committee ; that Mr. 
Grundy represented that it contained nothing which ought to prevent 
their favorable action on the claim ; and this member stated that had 
the truth been known, the result would probably have been very dif- 
ferent. Upon the report of the committee, the Senate passed a resolu- 
tion declaring, in effect, that the balance of the award ought to be paid. 
Had it been a joint resolution passed by both Houses and approved by 
the President, it would have had the authority of law, and the money 
would have been paid. Being a resolution of the Senate only, it left me 
in the same legal position as before, with the moral weight of the Senate 
against me. An attempt was made by Mr. Buchanan, afterwards Pres- 
ident, and others, to induce Mr. Van Buren to order the payment of the 
money, probably with the view of forcing me to resign. Such would 
have been the effect of their successful effort, though I made no attempt 
to defeat them. 

" Why no effort was made then or afterwards to pass a joint resolution 

23 



354 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

I do not know. I could not but attribute it to the conviction of the 
managers that so much light had already broken in upon the subject 
that it could not be gotten through the House of Representatives. Be 
that as it may, all further efforts in that direction were abandoned, and 
the claimants turned to the judiciary. I received a summons from the 
Circuit Court of the District of Columbia to appear before that court 
and show cause why a mandamus should not issue to compel me to 
execute the solicitor's award. This involved the question how far the 
head of a Department is amenable to the courts for his official action or 
refusal to act. The subject was taken as a cabinet question, and the 
defence assigned to Benjamin F. Butler, Attorney-General, and Francis 
S. Key, United States District Attorney. Under their direction, a plea 
to the jurisdiction of the court was put' in. This, after long argument, 
the court overruled. Then, by a legal fiction and falsehood borrowed 
from the English courts, it was assumed that by the plea to the juris- 
diction I had admitted the wrong, and had no defence upon the merits 
(though in my response I had claimed exemption on the merits), judg- 
ment was given against me, and a peremptory mandamus directed to be 
issued. An appeal was taken to the Supreme Court, which confirmed 
the decision of the court below, and then the balance of the award was 
paid. 

" Thus it was, that by the maneuvering of corrupt men in Congress, 
and the false assumption of the courts, I was placed in the attitude of 
one who admitted himself to be a violator of the law, without an op- 
portunity to show that from first to last I had acted in conformity with 
law and in obedience to my sworn obligations to the public. Thus, in 
spite of all my efforts, these corrupt men had secured payment of the 
whole one hundred and sixty thousand dollars awarded them by the 
Solicitor, not one cent of which I aver now (1867), as I did then, was 
due to them in law or equity. But they were not satisfied. They now 
commenced a suit against me in my private capacity, laying their dam- 
ages at twelve thousand dollars, for my delays in payment o"f the award. 
I was rather gratified with this movement, because, I said to myself, I 
shall now have an opportunity to show that from first to last I have but 
done my duty. But when I offered to defend myself on that ground, 
the judges said, No ; you acknowledged that you violated the law in your 
plea to our jurisdiction in the mandamus case, and we cannot allow you 
now to take back that admission by showing that you did not violate 
the law. You are an admitted law-breaker, and the only defence left 
you is to show that you were not governed by a malicious design to 
injure the plaintiffs. It availed me nothing to prove, as I did by the 
officers and clerks of the Department, that no services had been ren- 
dered for the hundred and sixty thousand dollars awarded them by the 



THE STOCKTON AND STOKES CASE. 355 

Solicitor, and that in nothing outside of this case had I shown any hos- 
tility to the claimants. 

" The trial took place soon after the close of the embittered political 
campaign which ended in the election of General Harrison to the Presi- 
dency, in which I had taken a very active part. The jury was com- 
posed of eleven Whigs and one Democrat. They chose to infer malice 
without a particle of evidence, and found a verdict against me for about 
twelve thousand dollars. My counsel moved for a new trial, on the ground 
that the verdidt was contrary to evidence, there being no proof of malice 
in the case. A new trial was readily granted, a strong impression hav- 
ing evidently been made upon the judges by the evidence, to such an 
extent indeed that one of them was heard to say that Mr. Kendall was 
the most persecuted man living. 

" On the second trial, all pretext of malice was driven out of the case 
by proofs of acts of kindness and indulgence on my part towards the 
claimants. Indeed, it was proved that all the malice was on the other 
side, one of them having declared that the suit was brought, not to get 
money, but ' to punish the damned rascal,' and whatever they recovered 
would be given to the church. He was an Episcopalian. I was now 
very sure of a verdict in my favor ; but alas for the uncertainty of the 
law ! After the former trial, Judge Baldwin had decided, in the United 
States Court in Philadelphia, that a public officer was responsible in 
damages for any injury done or loss sustained by a private citizen 
through a violation of the law, whether it was malicious or not, and the 
judges in the District of Columbia considered themselves bound by this 
precedent, and so instructed the jury ! This left me without any de- 
fence. I could not show in this private suit that I had violated no law, 
because as a public officer, and with the concurrence of the President 
and Cabinet, I had had the audacity to question the jurisdiction of the 
court in the mandamus case, and now I was to be held responsible for 
this imputed violation of the law, whether I was right or wrong, honest 
or dishonest. Of course the jury had no alternative but to find a ver- 
dict against me for such damages as the plaintiffs might prove. And in 
doing this they were allowed an extraordinary latitude, and by means 
of counsel fees, hotel expenses, etc., rolled up an amount of alleged dam- 
ages exceeding eleven thousand dollars, for which the jury gave a verdict. 

" So I was convicted of honesty and fined for it. Prior to the first 
trial, I had made arrangements to remove to New York, and commence 
there the publication of a newspaper ; but the unexpected verdict on 
that occasion determined me to remain in the District of Columbia. 
Having no income from any source, I resorted to the publication of a 
small newspaper, called ' Kendall's Expositor,' by a hired printer, as 
means of subsistence for myself and family. This was so well patronized 



356 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OP AMOS KENDALL. 

that I was encouraged to purchase on credit the place adjoining the city 
of "Washington, on which I have since resided, with the view of making 
it my permanent home. "When the second verdict was rendered, I had 
paid nothing of the $ 9,000 purchase-money, and had no other property 
except household stuff and some unproductive and unsaleable Western 
lands on which the State taxes were about $ 150 a year. When the 
second verdict was rendered, I had learned so much of the uncertainty 
of the law, and my future was so dark, that I did not feel at liberty to 
ask any friend to become my security in an appeal bond, but resolved 
to take the case up to the Supreme Court by writ of error, which re- 
quired no security, though it left my property exposed to execution from 
men whose only avowed motive was vengeance. I, however, wrote them 
a letter declaring my purpose, and proposing, in Case of a stay of execu- 
tion, to put all the property I had in the world in trust, first, for the 
payment of my other just debts, and secondly for the satisfaction of any 
judgment they might obtain against me in pursuance of the final de- 
cision of the Supreme Court. As my property was beyond their reach 
by execution, I had some hopes that they would accede to this proposi- 
tion ; but the only reply I received was an arrest by the marshal, and 
committal to the prison limits of the district, then embracing the whole 
county of Washington. As the law then was, a judgment debtor was 
allowed to live one year within the limits, at the end of which he was 
required to surrender his property to be sold for the satisfaction of the 
judgment, on the penalty of going to close jail. Doubtless my per- 
secutors anticipated the satisfaction of compelling me to sacrifice all my 
property by a forced sale at Washington, or of shutting me up in jail 
with men who were guilty of other crimes than being honest ; but they 
were doomed to disappointment. 

" My newspaper subscription had fallen off after the first year, so that 
it afforded me an income scarcely equal to the support of my family. I 
had some debts, but not to a large amount. To avoid contracting more, 
with so poor prospects of being able to pay, I retired into a small un- 
finished frame house which I had caused to be erected on the place I 
had purchased in the country. There we lived very happily, though 
somewhat straitened for the comforts to which we had been accus- 
tomed. I had declared my purpose to go to close jail rather than sur- 
render my Western lands to be sacrificed for the satisfaction of this un- 
just and cruel judgment, and my wife, .with that cheerful acquiescence 
in all the vicissitudes of fortune which distinguished her whole life, de- 
clared her purpose to live with me there. Our anticipated residence in 
' the Blue House ' (blue being the color of the jail), so called in con- 
trast with ' the White House ' (the residence of the President), became 
the subject of many a family pleasantry. 



THE STOCKTON AND STOKES CASE. 357 

" Such was the state of things when Congress met. The case had 
now attracted the serious attention of the country. Without any in- 
stigation from me, many petitions were sent to Congress in my behalf, 
and some of the State legislatures forwarded to that body resolutions 
recommending measures for my relief. The House of Representatives 
passed, without opposition, a bill providing for the payment of the judg- 
ment out of the United States Treasury, and it was sent to the Senate. 
There it was referred to the Post-Office Committee, of which Silas Wright 
was then chairman. He sent for me, and stated that the case was one 
in which I ought at once to be relieved, but that it involved principles 
on which the committee thought it important to have the decision of 
the Supreme Court ; that while they were ready to recommend the pas- 
sage of the bill if I desired it, they would much prefer, with my con- 
sent, to recommend such a change in the law as would obviate the 
necessity of giving up my property, and allow me to remain in my then 
present condition until the Supreme Court should decide upon my case. 
To this course I assented, and instead of recommending the passage of 
the bill from the House, the committee reported, and both Houses 
passed, without opposition, a bill altering the general law so as to allow 
me and all persons similarly situated the privilege of the prison limits 
until the final decision of the Supreme Court, and one year thereafter. 

" Thus my persecutors were thwarted in their design of forcing me 
into either insolvency or close jail. 

" At the next session of Congress an act was passed abolishing im- 
prisonment for debt in the District of Columbia altogether ; but having 
understood that one of the Judges of the Circuit Court had expressed a 
doubt whether it embraced cases wherein the debt or obligation was in- 
curred before its passage, I deemed it prudent not to afford another 
opportunity for further acts of vengeance, and for this purpose took care 
not to pass the former prison limits. 

" At length the Supreme Court announced their decision, which was 
in my favor. It was read by Chief Justice Taney, and only Justice 
McLean dissented. Thus were the authors of this malicious suit not 
only defeated in their designs, but virtuafly punished. Instead of send- 
ing me to prison or robbing me of $ 12,000, or any smaller sum, to give 
to the church, they had to pay all the costs of this long and relentless 
persecution, and see me triumphant at last. 

" Nor did my triumph stop here. I now petitioned Congress for pay- 
ment of my counsel's fees and all other costs and expenses which had 
been brought upon me by the honest performance of my public duties 
in my official relations with these parties. Both Houses, without a dis- 
senting voice, passed an act for my relief. 

" It was impossible for me to make out a detailed account of my ex- 



358 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

penses occasioned by this suit ; but I estimated them as accurately as I 
could, and sent my claims to the Treasury with a short explanation. 
They were passed without hesitation, and both the Auditor and Comp- 
troller afterwards assured me that had I charged a few thousands more 
it would have been allowed with equal promptitude. For the apparently 
universal conviction that I had but done my duty in this affair, I was 
undoubtedly indebted in a great measure to honest men among my 
political opponents. Most prominent among them was Elisha Whittle- 
sey, many years a prominent member from Ohio. He was a man of 
strong prejudices but honest intentions. He was on the committee 
which investigated the affairs of the Department under my predecessor, 
and made a separate report, in which he charged that Stockton and 
Stokes had been paid over $ 100,000 more than they were entitled to 
by law. While the bill for their relief was before the House of Repre- 
sentatives, he offered several provisos prohibiting the allowance of cer- 
tain items, not one of which was embraced in the contested account. 
Upon the election of General Harrison to the Presidency, he was ap- 
pointed Sixth Auditor of the Treasury, in whose office the accounts of 
the Post-Office Department were settled. There he was brought in con- 
tact with those who were familiar with my administration in all its 
details, and especially with Peter G. Washington, chief clerk, one of the 
most faithful and efficient of public servants, who had been chief clerk 
of that office ever since its organization. From what he there learned, 
Mr. Whittlesey did not hesitate to acknowledge that he had entirely 
misunderstood the motives of my official conduct, and gave me full 
credit for integrity of purpose without regard to political considerations. 
He volunteered an explanation to me in person of his motives in offering 
the nugatory provisos in the bill for the relief of Stockton and Stokes, 
stating that not knowing or suspecting the true state of the case, he 
supposed I had recharged the illegal allowances exposed in' his report, 
and his object was to prevent their restoration by the Solicitor. I ex- 
pressed my gratification at this explanation ; for, supposing he knew 
that the allowances suspended by me were not those condemned in his 
report, but were all in addition thereto, I could only consider his pro- 
visos as intended to keep up a show of consistency while he was in 
fact willing that Stockton and Stokes should not only retain the hun- 
dred thousand condemned by him, but should add thereto an hundred 
and twenty thousand more. Mutual respect was the effect of these 
explanations. The last time I ever saw that honest man and faithful 
public servant, he held the office of First Comptroller, and was lament- 
ing in deep despondency the corruptions of the times. As I shook 
hands with him I said, ' Your palm and mine have never been stained 
by a bribe.' And it was without doubt his representations and those 



THE STOCKTON AND STOKES CASE. 359 

of others who had been equally deceived that overcame the political 
prejudices of the Whig Party, and secured for me acquittal and indem- 
nity by the unanimous assent of Congress. 

" But what a lesson it is against legislating in the dark ! And does it 
not illustrate the outrage of that rule of the courts, — I do not say of 
law, — which adjudges a party to be guilty of the matter charged who 
pleads to their jurisdiction 1 What is it but a judicial contrivance to 
punish those who dare to question their authority 1 ? I had violated 
no law, as I was advised by lawyers quite as learned as the court ; yet, 
because I allowed myself under the advice of the President, to be made 
the instrument of ascertaining the line which separates the judicial and 
executive powers of the government, I was not permitted to show that I 
was not guilty of the offence charged, not even when, divested of their 
public interest, the proceedings assumed the character of vindictive per- 
secution. Virtually, the Judges said to me, ' You dared to question our 
jurisdiction in the public case, and now, whether guilty or innocent, we 
turn you over without trial to the tender mercies of the plaintiffs in the 
private case.' 

" Though in its progress this affair was most annoying, its consequences, 
under the direction of Providence, were most consoling. It established 
my reputation as an honest man, and a pure, faithful, and inflexible pub- 
lic officer. 

" It probably saved my life. I had an invitation from Commodore 
Stockton for myself and family to the excursion of the Princeton, which 
was made awfully memorable by the explosion of his big gun. Two 
members of my family went, and I was prevented only by confinement 
in the prison limits. Had I been there, I should, without doubt, have 
been near the gun when it exploded. The Solicitor of the Treasury, 
whose action had led to my confinement, was one of the slain. 

" By defeating my purpose of connecting myself with the press in 
New York, and confining me in Washington, it led me into connection 
with Professor Morse and his telegraph, to which I am indebted for 
three fourths of all I possess, and a release in my old age from all the 
cares of business. 

" The private suit against me was defended with great ability by J. 
Hatch Dent and General Walter Jones, both of whom were confident 
of my acquittal had I been allowed to show that the Solicitor had ex- 
ceeded his authority in allowing the new claims which were never known 
to the Department. 

" Their fees of $ 2,000 were allowed and paid under the act of Con- 
gress for my relief. 

" One of the prosecuting counsel was Major Eaton, whose wife had 
offered the bribe of a carnage and horses for the allowance of the origi- 



360 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

nal claim. When he rose to address the jury I rose to leave the court- 
room, stating that I feared I should be guilty of some outrage if I 
remained to hear him. Mr. Dent told me to sit down and look him in 
the face, which I did throughout his speech. The offered bribe was not 
the only or the principal ground of my excitement. Years before, when 
he had been vindictively assailed in his private and family and public 
relations, I had been his steadfast friend, and had, at the request of one 
of his family connections, without thought of fee or reward, revised and 
mainly re-written a pamphlet prepared by him in vindication of his 
honor, thereby establishing, as I thought, a claim upon his gratitude, 
though prior to that date disclosures not fit for record had satisfied me 
that my confidence had been misplaced. For some years after this, I 
passed him without speaking ; but finally he took pains to confront me 
on the street, and say that it was professionally and not in personal 
hostility that he had appeared against me. I replied that there were 
relations which forbade one gentleman to appear against another pro- 
fessionally, and that I had supposed such relations existed between us. 
In reply to the expression of his hopes that the affair might be over- 
looked and forgotten, I assured him that all bitterness of feeling had 
passed away, though it was impossible for me to think or feel that he 
had done right." 

In July, 1843, Mr. Kendall thus referred to his celebration of 
the birthday of the nation : — 

"FOURTH OF JULY. 

" We celebrated it in the prison limits of Washington, rejoicing in the 
liberty it gave our neighbors to go where they please." 

In June, 1844, Mr. Kendall exults in his emancipation as fol- 
lows.: — 

" FREE ! ! 

" Sickness prevented our getting out a paper last week, or witnessing 
the closing scenes of Congress. Upon recovery, however, we find our- 
self released from the prison limits by an Act of Congress which effec- 
tually abolishes imprisonment for debt in the District of Columbia. 

" We rejoice in our own emancipation, and more in the progress of a 
great principle. To all the guards which the law can throw around the 
rights of creditors, without touching the liberty of the debtor or bring- 
ing instant destitution or want upon the family of the debtor, we have 
no objection ; but this putting of his body into prison or the prison 
limits because he cannot pay or will not pay, is a relic of ancient slavery 
as detestable as selling him to pay his debts. Let every species of 



TRIBUTE FROM HIS ASSOCIATES. 35^ 

property and vested interest, excepting only such as is essential to the 
immediate comfort of the debtor's family, be subjected to execution for 
debt ; but let man, created in the form of his Maker, be permitted to 
walk forth in his native liberty, until the safety of others requires his 
restraint. 

" With the friends of liberty we cannot now but look back with grati- 
tude and thanks to the persevering efforts of Colonel R M. Johnson 
when in Congress, to effect this great reform. Though not successful, 
he sowed the seeds of that harvest which we this day enjoy." 

When Mr. Kendall left the Department, the gentlemen who had 
been associated with him in office spontaneously addressed him the 
following letter : — 

Post-Office Department, May 25, 1840. 
To the Hon. Amos Kendall. 

Sir, — Your retirement from the head of this Department is an 
event that we regard with peculiar sensibility. It closes an official 
career eminent for ability and success, and terminates relations and 
intercourse which we have long enjoyed and highly valued. Our feel- 
ings will not allow the occasion to pass without the expression of our 
regret for its occurrence, our sympathies for its cause, and our ardent 
wishes for your future welfare. 

The whole Union has felt the benefit of your official labors ; but we 
alone have been the daily witnesses of the zeal, vigilance, assiduity, and 
skill with which those labors have been conducted. We have seen how 
successfully each emergency has been met by ample resources of mind ; 
how much has been achieved, and how much preserved by that impul- 
sive energy and supervisory scrutiny so rarely united in the same indi- 
vidual. Your reorganization of the Department established order, 
supervision, coercion, and efficiency. Your scheme "of speedy returns 
and prompt collections largely augmented its revenues, enabling you to 
discharge an onerous debt, add millions of miles to the annual transpor- 
tation of the mails, and accelerate their movements throiigh the prin- 
cipal-channels of communication. Your express mails anticipated rail- 
roads, and gave, with the despatch and regularity of steam, the extraor- 
dinary expedition demanded by the great commercial communities, at a 
period of intense activity in business. And your foresight and firmness, 
by denying the numberless importunities for mail improvements and 
extensions, and by timely retrenchments, warded off from your Depart- 
ment the disastrous effects of that great convulsion in monetary and 
commercial affairs, that has so deeply disturbed all the pecuniary inter- 
ests of the country. It is gratifying to know that whilst so many 
interests afloat, like those under your charge, yielded to the fury of the 



362 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

storm, the deep-freighted bark at whose helm you stood was held steadily 
to her course, and guided in safety over the troubled waters. 

We have also beheld, in their full array and proportions, the ob- 
stacles and difficulties you had to encounter, even from the outset of 
your career, where you found them thick sown in a previous season of 
derangement, like the dragon's teeth of the fable, springing up in every 
shape of resistance and hostility, armed with the artillery of the press, 
and the terrors of litigation, yet unable to divert you from the establish- 
ment of those reforms, and the maintenance of those principles of 
economy in expenditure and fidelity to engagements that form the dis- 
tinctive traits of your administration. Vain were the demoralizing 
efforts of the day to make your Department particeps criminis with 
defaulting institutions, in imposing on the public creditor a depreciated 
aud illegal currency ; ineffectual the attempts at extortion, made through 
crafty combinations, or in the bolder exactions of licensed monopolies ; 
unavailing the influence of friends, of party, or of station, to procure an 
act unapproved by - a faithful sense of right in reference to principle or 
policy ; and impotent the hand of sickness, though prostrating the phy- 
sical energies, to repress the successful efforts of the untiring spirit in 
its devotion to the public service. 

We separate from you under a grateful sense of the uniform kindness 
you have extended to us, and with sentiments of friendship for the man, 
won by the purity and simplicity of character, so happily united with 
the energy of mind and conduct, that commands admiration for the pub- 
lic officer. 

May relaxation from toil give speedy restoration to health, and your 
future lot in life be as honorable and happy as your past career has been 
distinguished and useful. 

We are, sir, most respectfully, 

Your obedient servants. 

This communication was signed by every gentleman then in 
the Department except six, who addressed him a private letter of 
the same import. 

The following is a copy of the notice issued to postmasters : — 

NOTICE TO POSTMASTERS. 

Post-Office Department, October 11, 1839. 
The officers of this Department, from the highest to the lowest, are 
but agents to execute the laws. As executive officers, we have no right 
to consider the expediency of any existing law, our only duty being to 
obey. In addition to the duty of the private citizen to obey the laws, a 
duty next in binding force to moral obligations, we have taken an oath 



INSTRUCTIONS TO POSTMASTERS. 363 

faithfully to discharge the duties of our respective stations according to 
law, and to defend the Constitution of the United States. 

The only currency which, by the Constitution and laws, is a tender 
for postages or in payment to contractors and others in the service of 
the Department, is composed of the gold and silver coins of the United 
States, and such foreign coins as Congress may from time to time pre- 
scribe by law. 

The law permits postmasters to receive bank-notes of a certain char- 
acter, not less in amount than twenty dollars j but if they receive such 
notes, they are yet bound to pay in gold and silver if demanded. 

The law forbids the reception or payment of any bank-notes what- 
ever of a less denomination than twenty dollars. 

It forbids the reception of the notes of any bank which does not 
pay them on demand in gold or silver coin. 

It forbids the payment on public account of any bank-note which is 
not equivalent to specie at the place where paid out. 

It forbids the reception of the notes of any bank which, since the 
1st day of October, 1838, shall have issued, reissued, or paid out any 
bill or note of a less denomination than five dollars. 

These are the commands of the law. It is the duty of every post- 
master, truly, faithfully, and without evasion, to obey them. 

I deem it my duty, therefore, under present circumstances, to en- 
join upon you strict obedience to the Constitution and laws in this re- 
spect, and to inform you that you cannot avoid your obligations with- 
out a disregard of your duty and your oath. 

If a postmaster, therefore, receive or pay out any bank-note of a 
less denomination than twenty dollars ; if he receive or pay out the 
notes of any bank which does not pay them on demand in gold or silver 
coin ; if he receive or pay out the notes of any bank which, since the 
1st of October, 1838, has issued, reissued, or paid out any note of a 
less denomination than five dollars ; if he pay out any bank-note, though 
greater than twenty dollars, which is not equivalent to specie at the 
place where paid, — such postmaster is guilty of a dereliction of duty 
and a violation of his oath. 

Your position, your oath, and your duty make you the standard- 
bearers of the Constitution and the laws in the several neighborhoods 
where you reside, and an example of rigid, fearless, and unhesitating 
obedience is expected from you, which shall not only prove your own 
uncompromising fidelity, but afford bright examples which shall incul- 
cate respect for the laws of your country in all who surround you. 
It is but a step from the violation of the law to the disregard of moral 
obligation, and the latter often treads closely on the heels of the 
former. 



364 AUTOBIOGEAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

While at the head of the Post-Office, Mr. Kendall prepared the 
following bill to facilitate the transmission of money by that De- 
partment, similar to the Money-Order Bureau afterwards so suc- 
cessfully introduced, but failed to procure its passage by Con- 
gress : — 

Form of Bill to Facilitate Exchanges by the Post- Office Department. 

Be it enacted, etc., That the Postmaster-General be authorized to 
cause to be received by postmasters at such convenient points as he may 
designate, any sum of money not exceeding twenty dollars, to be sent 
by mail, and shall be permitted to charge therefor a commission not ex- 
ceeding one per cent for one hundred and fifty miles or under, of two 
per cent for three hundred miles and over one hundred and fifty, of 
three per cent for six hundred miles and over three hundred, and of 
five per cent for over six hundred miles : Provided, that so far as . it can 
be done without deranging the business of the Department, the sums 
received for transportation may be retained where received, and paid out 
at the places to which they are requested to be sent : Provided also, 
that all additional expenses of this operation shall be paid out of the 
commissions on funds received for transportation. Provided further, 
that if the commissions shall be more than sufficient to pay reasonable 
expenses, the Postmaster-General is required to reduce and graduate 
them to that standard. 

REPLY TO INVITATION., 

Gentlemen, — I have just received your letter on behalf of " the 
Democratic Citizens of Pittsburg and Alleghany County," inviting me to 
unite with them in celebrating the " centenary birthday of the author of 
the Declaration of Independence," on the 13th instant. 

I am not a freeman in this " land of the free." I have hot, like the 
negro slave, a kind master to give me " a pass." For attempting, when 
in a high station, to check extravagance and baffle corruption, for reject- 
ing the favors of the powerful and meting out to them the same justice 
which is awarded to the weak, I have been amerced in the sum of 
$12,000, and not being able to pay it, am now confined to the jail 
limits of the county of Washington. The court said there was no 
evidence of evil intention on my part ; the jury said my motives were 
not only pure but praiseworthy ; a "Whig Committee of Congress have 
declared that my conduct merited applause rather than censure ; not a 
voice was raised in either House against the passage of an act to pre- 
vent my masters confining me in close jail ; yet here I am confined to 
the jail limits, my interests abroad grievously suffering for want of my 



COMMENDATORY LETTERS. 365 

personal attention, my credit destroyed, and myself subjected to heavy 
expenses in defending the case before the Supreme Court. 

The utmost that is alleged against me is, that in my zeal to serve 
the public, I violated the law. Yet, strange as it may seem, in a land 
of justice, the question whether I did violate the law has never been de- 
cided or tried. The courts have a rule that any one who calls in ques- 
tion their jurisdiction as to a matter in controversy, shall be treated as 
admitting that he has no other defence. When in this case I was pro- 
ceeded against by mandamus, and, under the advice of the President ■ 
and Attorney-General, resisted the claim to jurisdiction in the Circuit 
Court as an attack on the rights of the Executive, I was treated as ad- 
mitting that the law and the facts were against me, contrary to my own 
belief and express declaration. And when sued for $ 100,000 out of my 
own purse (if so much should ever get into it) for this alleged violation 
of the law, the assumed admission in the mandamus case was taken as 
precluding me from showing that I had not violated the law, and honesty 
of purpose being also ruled out, I was left without defence, condemned 
without a hearing, fined for being honest, and imprisoned because I could 
not pay it. 

You perceive why I cannot join you in honoring the memory of 
Liberty's Apostle. Nevertheless, I congratulate you that his doctrines 
have made great progress, and are still progressing. And if, as one of 
his disciples, I may be instrumental, by suffering persecution, in extend- 
ing the range of their practical application, I shall exult in imprisonment. 

With thankfulness for your remembrance of me on such an occasion, 

I annex a sentiment, and remain 

Your friend, 

AMOS KENDALL. 
Jefferson's creed of government : " To punish rogues and protect honest 
men." 

FROM HON. WILLIAM SMITH. 

Culpepper Court-House, "Virginia, July 6, 1837. 

Dear Sir, — I have noticed with much interest the extraordinary 
ground taken by the Circuit Court for the District in issuing a man- 
damus against you in your official character, and I have scanned with 
profound satisfaction your conclusive and unanswerable reply. The 
ground taken by the court would not only destroy that beautiful trinity, 
into which all power to be controlled must divide, but if maintained 
would indeed " make the judiciary the despotic branch." 

You refer in support of your argument to only one of Mr. Jeffer- 
son's letters, that to Mr. Hay; but the same opinions are expressed in 
two letters to Mr. Adams, to be found in the fourth volume of his cor- 
respondence, pages twenty-two and twenty-six. In the latter letter the 



366 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

position is stated with great distinctness and simplicity, and therefore 
with peculiar power, decidedly more impressive than in his somewhat 
labored letter to Mr. Hay. I almost regret that you should have taken 
your last position, to wit, that you could not make the credit, because 
the books were not in your possession. This will enable the court to 
escape from the difficulty, and yet have the weight of judicial authority 
in favor of their decision. 

I noticed also your scathing reply to WicklifFe. Can he be silent 1 
If so, he ought to be doomed to everlasting shame. Let your enemies 
assail you, and do you maintain the same power in your replies, and it 
requires no seer to predict the consequences, — defeat, overwhelming 
defeat for your foes, — triumph glorious and transcendent for yourself. 
That you may be able to roll back (and I doubt it not) that torrent 
with which your persecutors have sought to overwhelm you, is the ear- 
nest wish of, 

In haste, most truly yours, 

WILLIAM SMITH. 
Amos Kendall, Esq., Postmaster-General. 

EXTRACT OF A LETTER FROM MR. VAN BTJREN. 

Kinderhook, December 15, 1842. 
My dear Sir, — Accept my unfeigned thanks for the friendly sug- 
gestions contained in your letter. They shall not be unheeded. I am 
grieved to hear of the troubles you have to encounter, and particularly 
in the affair of Stockton and Stokes. Certainly there cannot be found 
in the history of our government so wicked or so naked an act of injus- 
tice and oppression as that you have experienced in this matter. From 
beginning to end it has been an affair of wrong, and I should feel 
melancholy in believing that it is to continue so. The court will, I 
hope, do you justice, and if they do not, I should be sorry to think that 
Congress will not 



Very sincerely, vour friend, 

M. VAN BTJREN. 

The following testimony to the marked ability and success of 
Mr. Kendall's administration of the Post-Office Department is 
from a leading journal : — 

THE POSTMASTER-GENERAL'S REPORT. 

The report of the Postmaster-General, which was published in the 
"Advocate " of Saturday last, is a very concise and important document. 
It exhibits the admirable condition of the Post-Office Department in a 
strong light, which will not be easily perverted or darkened by the mis- 
representations of the opposition press. There is, perhaps, no individual 



LETTER TO HIS WIFE. 367 

connected with the present administration, who has received more abuse 
from the opposition, than the one now at the head of the Post-Office 
Department. 

Notwithstanding all the blackguardisms and falsehoods that have 
been reiterated again and again by a, corrupt and profligate press, that 
gentleman has kept along on " the even tenor of his way " in the dis- 
charge of his official duties, and his last report of the condition of the 
Department is a noble justification of his course, and a severe rebuke 
upon his calumniators. 

" In 1835," says the report, "the Department was laboring under an 
extraordinary debt of $ 600,000 ; in 1837, it has a surplus of $ 800,000." 
Making a difference in favor of the Department of fourteen hundred thou- 
sand dollars. And this has been accomplished in the short space of 
about two years ! During this time the number of routes and post- 
offices has also been much increased, and the speed in the transportation 
of the mail on the principal routes greatly augmented. 

The number of post-offices in 1835 was 10,770 ; in 1837, 11,009. 

The number of miles of mail routes under contract in 1835 was 
112,774; in 1837, 142,877. 

The firmness and promptitude manifested by the Postmaster-Gen- 
eral at the time of the suspension of the banks, and the carrying on of 
the financial operations of the Department from that time to the present 
according to law, and in the legal currency of the country, entitle him 
to the highest praise ; and he has already received from an intelligent 
people the appellation of " Well done, good and faithful servant ! " while 
he has silenced a bitter opposition. 

On the 1st instant, the Department had bank funds to the 

amount of $430,645.57 

Specie in post-offices reported subject to draft . . 410.662.81 

Making the amount of funds on hand . . . $ 841,308.38 

The able manner in which the Post-Office Department has been con- 
ducted should open the eyes and ears of every candid mind of whatever 
party. Are there not those who are opposed to the present adminis- 
tration who are willing to let facts like thofee which have been stated 
have an influence upon their minds in favor of the administration, -rather 
than to suffer themselves to be misled by the misrepresentations of de- 
signing and corrupt men 1 

TO HIS WIFE. 

Hermitage, Tenn., October 20, 1838. 
My dear "Wife, — I left Nashville after breakfast yesterday, and 
reached this place about eleven o'clock. The good old chief was at his 
gate, about as far from his house as our gate, waiting for the mail-car- 



368 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

rier who brings his letters and papers. Although it was a raw cold day, 
he had on no overcoat, and his face was colored by the keen air. He 
received me with the utmost kindness, and inquired particularly after 
you and the children, expressing many regrets that you had not come 
with me. In these he was joined by Mrs. Jackson, who, with her hus- 
band and children, appears to be in good health, though the children, 
excepting a boy sixteen months old, look puny and pale. Major Donel- 
son called to see me, last evening, in excellent health, and he also in- 
quired particularly after you. 

The General's house is a palace j but I am not prepared to describe 
it. In the passages below and above, is the identical scene from Telem- 
achus which ornamented the lower passage of DeKraft's House, though 
much more developed. I have a chamber assigned to me larger than 
any in that house, and most tastefully furnished. I am told to make 
myself entirely at home, and already begin to feel so. 

Poor Earle died without knowing that he was seriously ill. He had 
but little pain, and a day or two before he died none at all. It was but 
a day before his death that any one supposed him to be in danger. He 
had had a steady, slow fever for some days, with a little pain occasionally 
in his limbs, back, or head. His medicine operated well, and it was 
thought his disease was slight. The pains left him, and he said he was 
well, excepting debility; but from that time he became lethargic, although 
he could be roused without difficulty, and constantly said he was better. 
At length his fingers began to get cold, then his hands, then his arms, 
and all efforts to restore circulation in them were fruitless. He was 
unconscious of this coldness, and when the General and Mrs. Jackson 
attempted to restore the vital heat, he said his hands were warm 
enough. At length the coldness spread over his breast, and gradually 
his heart ceased to beat, and he died evidently without the least pain, 
and without any consciousness that his end was approaching. 

Mrs. Jackson tells me that he had as many portraits of the General 
bespoken as he could have executed for years ; but that he had deter- 
mined to take mine upon this visit, and often spoke of his anxiety to re- 
store the beautiful little Andrew. 

Mrs. Jackson's tomb is in a corner of the garden, about as far from 
the house as the gate of our garden is from ours. It is on the plan of 
General Van Ness's, near the Orphan Asylum in "Washington, but has an 
obelisk upon the centre of the floor. It is all built of stone. 

This is Saturday. Next Monday I propose to go to work. So many 
people are anxious to see me, and invite me to their houses, that I shall 
find it difficult to command my time without giving offence. But offence 
or not, I do not intend to miss the principal object which has brought 
me here. 



DEATH OF MR. KENDALL'S FATHER. 369 

I hope to find time to-morrow to write to Alva, and he may expect to 
hear from me in two days after you get this. 

The " Globe " has been received here to the 8th October ; but I have 
as yet nothing from home later that Adela's letter of 30th September. 
I have no doubt an army of letters will soon overtake me. I rest in 
hope that all is well with you. 

My love to our own and to your father's family. 

All your own, 

AMOS KENDALL. 
Mes. Jane Kendall. 

The following letter is inserted as a just tribute to Hon. Horatio 
King, who, in 1839, was appointed a clerk in the Post-Office De- 
partment, and who for many years discharged with ability and 
fidelity the duties of Postmaster-General : — 

To the Postmaster-General op the United States : — 

If you want as a clerk in your office a gentleman of talent, integrity, 
and exemplary morals, of unwearied and persevering industry, of regu- 
lar and economical habits, a good penman and correct draughtsman, a 
man in whom you may place the most implicit confidence in all situa- 
tions and under all circumstances, and a Democrat to the core, sound, 
radical, ardent, and persevering, the undersigned most respectfully pre- 
sent and earnestly recommend as such an individual, Horatio King, Esq., 
of Maine. 

In whatever situation he may be placed, you may rely that his ser- 
vices will be most invaluable. 

ALBERT SMITH, 
VIRGIL D. PARRIS, 
R. WILLIAMS, 
H. J. ANDERSON, 
V THOMAS DAVIS. 

Washington, January 30, 1839. 

In August, 1839, Mr. Kendall was summoned to the sick-bed of 
his venerable father, in Dunstable, Mass. Though unable to con- 
verse, his father recognized him, and died, apparently without pain, 
on the 12th of that month, aged eighty-four years. 

He was a man of vigorous intellect, well informed, of positive 
character, for many years a deacon in the Congregational Church, 
above reproach in all relations of life, and conscientious in all his 
dealings. His piety was of that sturdy kind which rendered and 
exacted strict honesty. Incapable of conscious wrong to others, 
he plainly and unhesitatingly rebuked any deviations from the 
severest requirements of his religion. 

24 



CHAPTER XIV. 

THE ORIGIN" OF THE "GLOBE" NEWSPAPER. 

Even before the organization of General Jackson's administra- 
tion, General Duff Green, the editor of the " United States Tele- 
graph," had lost, if ever he enjoyed, the confidence of many of the 
General's supporters. A majority of them in the Senate, at the 
session of 1828-29, were supposed to be averse to electing him 
their printer. Mr. Amos Kendall, being then in Washington, was 
informed by Major Eaton that he co\dd have the printing of that 
body if he would consent to take it. He replied that he would 
consent only on condition that General Green should be consulted, 
and should give his assent ; but he declined to consult Green him- 
self, and requested that what had passed as far as he was concerned 
should not be communicated to that gentleman. 

On a subsequent occasion, Major Eaton reported that Green had 
been consulted, and refused his assent ; but it was proposed to elect 
Mr. Kendall notwithstanding, when the latter peremptorily refused 
to let his name be used. This refusal arose, not from any repug- 
nance to the appointment in itself, but from an indisposition to 
interfere in any way with Green's expectations, however extrava- 
gant ; for it could not be denied that he had established himself at 
Washington, risking everything in a doubtful contest, and there 
would be a seeming unfairness in depriving him of the anticipated 
reward of his labors, though his views might be grasping and un- 
reasonable. Such an act, it seemed to Mr. Kendall, would sow 
the seeds of discord at the very outset of General Jackson's ad- 
ministration, to which he did not then doubt General Green's 
fidelity. 

At the first session of Congress after General Jackson's admin- 
istration was inaugurated, a combination was formed in the Senate 
to reject the editors of newspapers whom the President had ap- 
pointed to office, and among the rejected was Isaac Hill, of New 



THE ORIGIN OF THE "GLOBE" NEWSPAPER. 371 

Hampshire, who had been appointed Second Comptroller of the 
Treasury. General Green called on him after his rejection, and 
strenuously endeavored to convince him that he had been rejected 
by what he called the " Eaton and Van Buren influence." This let 
new light into Mr. Kendall's mind. He had never before heard of 
such an influence. He knew that Green was the particular friend 
of Mr. Calhoun, and it seemed that the editors were to be rejected 
and sent back to their posts in the several States, under the im- 
pression that they owed their rejection to an interest adverse to 
Calhoun. As to Mr. Kendall himself, Green remarked that if re- 
jected by the Senate for the Fourth Auditorship of the Treasury, 
to which he had been appointed, he might return to Kentucky and 
resume his editorial profession. When told that Mr. Kendall did 
not intend in that event to return to Kentucky, a new idea seemed 
to strike him, and it was singular that, when the vote was taken 
on his nomination, the Senate was equally divided, and he was 
confirmed by the casting vote of Mr. Calhoun, then Vice-Presi- 
dent. 

These incidents, and more of like tendency, created an impres- 
sion among the friends of General Jackson that General Green 
was more the friend of Mr. Calhoun than of the President, and 
was already embarrassing the administration by intrigues looking 
toward the succession. It was their desire that General Jackson 
should be elected for another term, that he might establish the 
policy in relation to the Bank of the United States, and other 
subjects which he had initiated, and they apprehended that in 
this important measure they would not have the support of the 
" United States Telegraph." It seemed to them important, there- 
fore, that another paper should be established at Washington, de- 
voted exclusively to the support of the administration and its 
leading measures, without regard to the succession. It was not 
their object or desire to supersede the " Telegraph " as an official 
paper, or to deprive General Green of the printing of Congress, 
should he remain faithful, but to furnish an auxiliary paper, pub- 
lished semi-weekly, and sustained by its subscriptions, advertising, 
and job work. 

When the project was broached to General Jackson, he entirely 
disapproved of it. He still had faith in the fidelity of the " Tele- 
graph," and he feared collision between the papers should another 
be established. It was not long, however, before he began to 



372 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

realize the necessity of such a paper as was proposed, and finally 
gave the project his tacit approval. 

The several public offices were visited for the purpose of ascer- 
taining whether they would give such a paper a portion of their 
printing. The responses were generally favorable ; but Mr. Van 
Buren, then Secretary of State, replied that he not only would not 
promise, but would not give the paper a dollar's worth of printing 
should it be established. The reason he gave was, that were such a 
paper established its origin would be attributed to him, and he was 
resolved to be able to say truly that he had nothing to do with it. 

In a consultation on the subject, Major W. T. Barry, then Post- 
master-General, named Francis P. Blair, who was then writing for 
Mr. Kendall's paper in Frankfort, Kentucky, as a suitable person 
for editor, and Mr. Kendall undertook' to correspond with him on 
the subject. Mr. Blair hesitated, and was induced to accede only 
by Mr. Kendall's assurance that he would bear an equal share in the 
responsibilities, upon the condition that he should at any time have 
the privilege of resigning the office he then held and becoming an 
equal partner in the new establishment. 

This assurance was given, not because Mr. Kendall had any in- 
clination to avail himself of the privilege, but only to overcome 
the hesitation of Mr. Blair, who thereupon determined to assume 
the position, writing Mr. Kendall that he should hold him respon- 
sible for the result. 

Neither Mr. Blair nor Mr. Kendall had any capital to invest in 
such an undertaking. One condition insisted upon by Mr. Blair 
was that no publicity should be given to the project until he could 
have an opportunity to compound with his creditors, and par- 
ticularly the Bank of the United States, to which he was heavily 
indebted. Under these circumstances, it was essential to make 
the new paper self-sustaining from the start. Its terms of sub- 
scription required payment in advance, and a printer was hired to 
print it. All the arrangements were made by Mr. Kendall before 
Mr. Blair's arrival, and he had only to ratify and execute what 
had already been planned. Only the name of the paper and its 
motto remained to be fixed upon. Mr. Kendall and Mr. Blair 
concurred in the name and in the sentiment embraced in the 
motto, " The world is governed too much " ; but the phrase in 
which it is so briefly expressed was the work of Mr. Kendall. 

Mr. Blair communicated frankly to General Green the objects 



THE OEIGIN OF THE "GLOBE" NEWSPAPER. 373 

of his location at Washington, so far as they had reference to the 
public printing and the official position of the " Telegraph," and he 
was advised studiously to avoid any expression to which General 
Green could justly take exception. But the latter evidently had 
no faith in Mr. Blair's professions, and looked upon the new paper 
as intended to supersede his establishment and promote the eleva- 
tion of Mr. Van Buren to the Presidency in opposition to his own 
favorite, Mr. Calhoun. 

The first number of the " Globe " appeared on the 7th of Decem- 
ber, 1830. • Little notice was taken of it by the "Telegraph" until 
February, 1831, when General Green was elected printer to both 
Houses of Congress. Upon that event the " Globe " congratulated 
the friends of the administration on the disappointment of its 
enemies, who had anticipated divisions from the establishment of 
a new Jackson press at Washington. But the prospect of har- 
mony, if there really was one, was of short duration. No sooner 
had the printing of Congress been secured, than the " Telegraph " 
began to throw out innuendos against the " Globe," of which the 
latter, however, took no notice. In a few days after the election 
of printer, Mr. Calhoun committed the fatal error of bringing be- 
fore the public, both in pamphlet and through the " Telegraph," his 
correspondence with General Jackson touching the events of the 
Seminole war. On the 19th of February, 1831, the " Globe " came 
out with an article exposing Mr. Calhoun and vindicating the 
President. The "Telegraph" had already ranged itself on Mr. 
Calhoun's side. A sharp controversy ensued, which in a short 
time led to the repudiation of the " Telegraph," and the adoption 
of the " Globe " as the organ of the administration. 

The " Globe " was still a semi- weekly paper, printed by contract. 
The position to which it had now attained required that it should 
be placed on an independent footing and published daily ; but Mr. 
Blair had not the means to purchase the necessary materials. To 
raise the funds, he called on the friends of the President in Wash- 
ington and elsewhere, who subscribed and paid in advance for six 
hundred copies of the " Daily Globe," at ten dollars per annum, 
and by this aid the " Globe " was made a daily paper. Thus, first 
and last, the " Globe " was established without a dollar of capital 
furnished by its proprietor, and, as Mr. Blair used to say, like the 
great globe we inhabit, was created out of nothing. 

Mr. Benton is entirely mistaken in attributing the origin of the 



374 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

" Globe " to General Jackson. General Green is equally in error 
in attributing it to Mr. Van Buren or bis friends. It originated 
with tbose friends of General Jackson wbo regarded measures 
more tban men, and desired bis re-election for another four years, 
not so mucb for bis own sake as to effect reforms in the govern- 
ment which no other man was capable of bringing about ; chief 
of these was its severance from the banking power organized 
and exercised under the charter of the Bank of the United States. 
The " Globe's " subsequent support of Mr. Van Buren was occa- 
sioned by later events, which seemed to indicate that his adminis- 
tration would, so far as measures were concerned, be in effect a 
continuation of that of General Jackson. 

REMOVAL OF THE DEPOSITS. 

It is a significant fact that during General Jackson's controversy 
with the Bank of the United States, the Bank always carried a 
majority of Congress on every question which did not involve a 
direct issue between the members and the President. The latter's 
opposition to the Bank was weU known ; yet the act to recharter 
it was passed by a vote of twenty-eight to twenty in the Senate, 
and one hundred and seven to eighty-five in the House of Eepre- 
sentatives. Although at the session of Congress in 1832-33, it 
was well understood that the General believed the Bank to be 
thoroughly corrupt and an unsafe depository of the puhhc moneys, 
yet for the obvious purpose of deterring him from any measures 
for their transfer during the recess of Congress, the friends of the 
Bank procured the passage of a resolution declaring, by a vote of 
one hundred and ten to forty-six, that in their opinion the public 
moneys were safe in the Bank of the United States. 

The politicians who had been accustomed to look upon Congress 
as the exponent of public opinion, believed this resolution to be 
conclusive against any further agitation on the subject of removal. 
Not so General Jackson and those friends of his who looked upon 
the destruction of the Bank as essential to the preservation of a 
purely republican government. They regarded the passage of the 
resolution in the face of abundant evidence of the corruption and 
abuses of the Bank, as only another exhibition of its dangerous 
power. The pobcy of the Bank was to them perfectly evident. 
So far from having, after the vote upon its recharter, adopted a sys- 
tem of gradual curtailment preparatory to winding up its affairs in 



REMOVAL OF THE DEPOSITS. 375 

1836, when its charter expired, it had proceeded to add about 
twenty-eight millions of dollars to its discounts, thereby largely 
increasing its army of debtors and dependents. The year 1836, 
when the charter expired, was also the year of the presidential 
election, and the policy of the Bank was to keep quiet and 
strengthen itself, with the purpose of throwing its whole power 
into the canvass, and by its curtailments in the midst of the con- 
test, under the plea of necessity in winding up its affairs, producing 
a degree of public embarrassment and alarm which would decide 
the presidential and congressional elections, and make sure its re- 
charter. 

The more intelligent adversaries of the Bank said that there was 
yet to be a desperate struggle with that institution ; that their only 
hope of success therein lay in making it a direct issue between the 
Bank and President Jackson, backed by his invincible popularity ; 
that this could be effected only by organizing a new system of 
public deposits, and depriving the Bank of the public moneys be- 
fore the next presidential canvass began ; and it was argued, if the 
Bank quietly submits to the change it will die in peace ; if it 
makes battle, it will be conquered under the leadership of the hero 
of New Orleans, — in either event the question would be disposed 
of before the next political campaign. 

For these reasons the removal of the government deposits from 
the Bank of the United States to the State banks was persistently 
urged by the writers for the Globe, Francis P. Blair the editor, and 
Amos Kendall, then Fourth Auditor of the Treasury, both of whom 
had been opposed to the Bank from 1817 downwards. 

Louis McLane was then Secretary of the Treasury. Soon after 
the adjournment of Congress, in 1833, he sent for Mr. Kendall, and 
giving him the credit of understanding the subject better than any 
other man, said he wished to gain a full knowledge of the grounds 
on which a change of depositories was pressed. A discussion en- 
sued which lasted more than an hour. It ended with a declara- 
tion on the Secretary's part, that his impressions were still against 
the measure, but that if the President made up his mind that it 
ought to be executed he would do it. Encouraged by this decla- 
ration, and anxious that Mr. McLane should enter upon the work 
with his whole heart, Mr. Kendall sent him his opinion written out 
at length, and placed a copy of the paper in the hands of the 
President. 



376 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

Not long afterwards Martin Van Buren, then Vice-President, 
visited Washington, and was a guest at the President's House. 
He also sent for Mr. Kendall and warmly remonstrated against 
the continued agitation of the subject after the emphatic resolution 
adopted by the House of Representatives. This led to a discus- 
sion, in which Mr. Kendall presented to him all his views, financial 
and political, as to the effects of further forbearance upon the next 
presidential election. Still Mr. Van Buren maintained his oppo- 
sition, until Mr. Kendall, becoming excited, rose from his seat say- 
ing that so certain to his mind was the success of the AVhig Party 
in the next presidential election, and the consequent recharter of 
the Bank, that unless the latter were now stripped of the power 
which the possession and management of the public money gave 
it, he should consider further opposition useless and would lay 
down his pen, leaving to others this question and all that pertains 
to the politics of the country, adding, " I can live under a corrupt 
despotism, as well as any other man, by keeping out of its way, 
which I shall certainly do." Thus the parties separated, both 
somewhat excited. 

A few weeks afterwards Mr. Kendall met Mr. A r an Buren, when 
the latter at once said in substance, " I had never thought seriously 
upon the deposit question until after my conversation with you ; I 
am now satisfied that you were right and I was wrong," and thence- 
forward he was one of the most steadfast friends of the measure. 

Efforts were made to operate on the mind of General Jackson 
by telling him that if he did cause the deposits to be removed 
from the Bank, Congress, having resolved that they were safe 
there, would require them to be restored. On one occasion he 
mentioned this argument to Mr. Kendall, when the latter replied 
in substance, " If it were certain that Congress would direct them 
to be restored, still they o\ight to be removed, and any order by 
Congress for their restoration disregarded ; for it is the only means 
by which this embodiment of power which aims to govern Con- 
gress and the country can be destroyed." " But," said he, " Con- 
gress will not undertake to overrule you if the measure be well- 
timed and prudently managed. Let the removal take place so 
early as to give us several months to defend the measure in the 
' Globe,' and we will bring up the people to sustain you with a 
power which Congress dare not resist." 

The discussion was vigorously carried on in the " Globe." Mr. 



REMOVAL OF THE DEPOSITS. 377 

MeLane was transferred to the State Department and William J. 
Duane was appointed Secretary of the Treasury. He had always 
been opposed to the Bank on constitutional grounds, and General 
Jackson, without consulting him on the subject, counted on his 
ready co-operation in the great measure impending. A sagacious 
Philadelphian sometime afterwards asked Mr. Kendall by whose 
influence Mr. Duane was appointed, and upon being answered, " I 
do not know," rejoined, " I can tell you, — it was Mr. McLane's, 
who supposed he would thus control two departments." The re- 
sults justified this surmise. 

Mr. Kendall was not personally acquainted with Mr. Duane, and 
only knew him as a writer of more industry than talent in the 
canvass which led to General Jackson's election. At the request 
of an ardent anti-Bank friend, he called on the new Secretary soon 
after his arrival in Washington, without intending to mention the 
Bank. His companion, however, introduced the subject, and per- 
ceiving that the topic was not a welcome one, Mr. Kendall turned 
the conversation and soon took his leave. He was, however, 
inclined to attribute Mr. Duane's unwillingness to talk on the 
subject to the indelicacy of his friend in touching at a first in- 
troduction on a serious matter which might involve his official 
action. 

Not long afterwards, General Jackson left Washington on a trip 
to the North. While on his journey, he wrote Mr. Kendall a letter 
requesting him to ascertain what were Mr. Duane's views touching 
the removal of the deposits. This was a delicate service for an 
auditor of the Treasury Department, and would have been required 
only by one who never sympathized with that numerous class 
who, " dressed in a little brief authority," regard suggestions from 
any one of inferior station, touching their official duties, an insult 
to their dignity. Mr. Kendall, however, proceeded to comply with 
the request of the President. Having some official business with 
the new Secretary, he made that the pretext for a call, and after 
despatching it, entered into a general conversation, which he led to 
the subject of the Bank. Mr. Duane at once turned it upon some 
other topic. Without seeming to notice the diversion, Mr. Kendall 
followed his lead, but by degrees again came round to the Bank ; 
again Mr. Duane evaded the point. The prospect was not very 
encouraging, but Mr. Kendall determined to try once more, and 
again following Mr. Duane's lead, for the third time approached 



378 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

the delicate topic; but with no better success than before. He 
now gave up the chase and reported the facts to the President. 

At length the President called upon his Cabinet for their writ- 
ten opinions on the subject. Mr. McLane, then Secretary of 
State, submitted a strong argument against the contemplated 
measure, maintaining that the law had vested the control of the 
public deposits exclusively in the Secretary of the Treasury, and 
that the President had no right to direct or overrule him in the 
performance of his duties. In short, his opinion embraced nearly 
all the arguments against the measure which were afterwards urged 
in Congress. And yet, while he was Secretary of the Treasury, he 
had repeatedly declared that he would himself remove the deposits 
if the President made up his mind that it ought to be done. 

Mr. Duane's opinion concurred with Mr. McLane's, though he 
assured the President that if in the end he found that he could 
not comply with his chief's wishes, he would resign his office. 

Governor Cass, Secretary of War, excused himself from giving 
an opinion, on the plea that he did not understand the subject. 

Mr. Woodbury, Secretary of the Navy, favored the measure, but 
gave no definite opinion as to the proper time for its execution. 

Mr. Barry, Postmaster-General, was in favor of the removal. 

The most decisive opinion in favor was that of Mr. Taney, the 
Attorney-General. 

Thus the matter stood when the President, in conversation with 
Mr. Kendall, said, " They " — meaning, as it was supposed, Messrs. 
McLane and Duane — " tell me the State banks, through fear of 
the United States Bank, which can crush them at will, cannot 
be induced to take the public deposits and do the business of the 
government." 

" Send me to ask them, and I will settle that argument," was Mr. 
Kendall's reply. 

" You shall go," said the President instantly. 

Mr. Kendall had a short time before spent several days in Balti- 
more, where he had been called on by the presidents of some of 
the banks who had evinced something more than a mere willing- 
ness to serve the government as keepers of its funds. The posses- 
sion of six to ten millions of public deposits to bank upon, was no 
small temptation to the State banks, and it was believed that many 
of them would rejoice to be relieved from the power of the United 
States Bank, which was often capriciously exercised. 



REMOVAL OE THE DEPOSITS. 379 

In pursuance of this understanding, the President proposed to 
Mr. Duane to suspend all further discussion of the subject until 
it could be ascertained whether a competent number of the State 
banks would receive the public deposits and do the business of the 
government appertaining thereto ; if so, on what terms ; adding 
that he should send Mr. Kendall as agent of the Treasury to nego- 
tiate with them. To this course Mr. Duane assented, and prepared 
a draft of instructions, which he sent to the President, who trans- 
mitted it to Mr. Kendall. These instructions were calculated to 
defeat the object the President had in view, by asking the opinion 
of the banks upon the financial topics then under discussion, in 
relation to which the banking interest generally was well known 
to be hostile to the administration. Mr. Kendall waited on the 
President, and told him he could not go under those instructions ; 
that if he did, he would return loaded with documents full of 
party bias, and virtually in opposition to the measure the Presi- 
dent wished to adopt ; that the President did not want the opinions 
of hostile bank managers ; all he wanted was to know whether 
they would receive the public money on deposit, and on what 
terms they would pay out or transfer it. The President replied, 
" Take the paper and modify it to suit your own views." 

Mr. Kendall, retaining as much of Mr. Duane's draft as he 
could consistently with the main object of his mission, prepared 
amendments, confining his inquiries strictly to the ascertainment 
of the requisite facts, and handed them to the President. They 
were copied by his private secretary, and sent to Mr. Duane as his 
own emendations. Of course they were adopted, and Mr. Kendall 
departed, virtually self-instructed. He had two objects to accom- 
plish. First, to remove a difficulty in the President's mind by' 
showing that the State banks were neither afraid nor unwilling to 
become bankers for the government. Secondly, to ascertain the 
terms on which they were willing to become the financial agents 
of the government. In pursuance of the first object exclusively, 
he prepared a circular to be addressed to each bank, inquiring 
whether they were desirous of performing the service now ren- 
dered by the United States Bank to the government, should it be 
deemed necessary or expedient to employ another agent. 

In pursuance of the second object, he prepared another circular 
to be addressed to such banks as should return a favorable answer 
to his first inquiry. It stated the conditions on which it was pro- 



380 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMOS KENDALL. 

posed that the banks should receive the public deposits and do the 
incidental business of the government, corresponding in the main 
with those on which the Bank of the United States performed the 
same services. 

Thus prepared, Mr. Kendall started on his delicate and impor- 
tant mission. At Baltimore he sent his first circular simultaneously 
to every bank in the city, and promptly received an affirmative 
reply from them all but one or two. He then sent to them his 
second circular, and, without waiting for a reply, reported progress 
and pushed on to Philadelphia. 

There, also, nearly all the banks gave a prompt affirmative reply 
to his first circular. As at Baltimore, he then sent out his second 
circular, again reported progress, and proceeded to New York, where 
he received like encouragement. 

Before he reached Boston his first circular was printed in the 
" National Gazette," which was the organ of the United States 
Bank in Philadelphia, together with editorial comments thereon. 
The editor called attention to the fact that the circular was wholly 
non-committal ; that it gave no assurance to the banks of a pur- 
pose to employ them, whatever might be their answers ; that it 
would seem soon enough for the banks to say whether they would 
serve the government or not when the government had made up 
its own mind to require their services ; and that no direct answer 
to the inquiry contained in the circular seemed to be called for by 
the circumstances of the case. It cannot be denied that this was 
a reasonable criticism when addressed to those who did not know 
that the circular meant more than met the eye. But it came too 
late. The real object was accomplished by the responses of the 
banks in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York, and the last 
difficulty in the mind of President Jackson was already overcome. 

Of the Boston banks, about thirty in number, only two gave an 
affirmative answer to the first circular. The rest either did not 
answer at all or gave indirect and evasive replies. With one of 
the former Mr. Kendall negotiated a conditional arrangement for 
the custody of the public moneys, reported progress, and turned 
back to New York. 

There Mr. Kendall had much difficulty in making satisfactory 
arrangements with some of the principal banks, owing chiefly to 
their limited knowledge of the domestic exchanges. In that city 
were three banks, each with a capital of two millions of dollars, — 



REMOVAL OF THE DEPOSITS. 381 

the Bank of America, the Mechanics' Bank, and the Manhattan 
Company, — all of which it was desirable to secure. Every direc- 
tor of the Bank of America was a Whig, and opposed to General 
Jackson's administration, while a majority of the boards of the 
other two banks were Jackson men ; yet the Bank of America was. 
foremost in yielding its support to the proposed measure of the 
government. The president, George Newbold, was a gentleman of 
comprehensive views, who did not accept the dogma of his party 
that a national bank was a necessary financial agent of the gov- 
ernment, and he fully appreciated the wrong done to New York 
in depriving her of her natural advantages by the legislation of 
Congress, which undertook to make Philadelphia the financial 
centre of the Union. He also was sagacious enough to see that 
the gratuitous transfer of the public moneys, which was a bug- 
bear to other banks, could be made a source of profit instead of 
loss. Little difficulty, therefore, was experienced in making ac- 
ceptable terms with his bank. 

The President of the Mechanics' Bank called at Mr. Kendall's 
room and delivered to him a written reply to his second circular. 
He was in the act of retiring, when he was invited to be seated 
until the document could be examined, as its perusal might sug- 
gest some useful remarks. The reply was found to be a refusal to 
serve the government on the terms proposed, for reasons which 
had little or no foundation. After finishing the perusal, Mr. Ken- 
dall expressed his regret that a bank on which the administration 
had relied in this emergency as one controlled by its friends, should 
reject the benefits to be derived from the government agency, par- 
ticularly as the Bank of America had already acceded to the terms 
proposed. He then took up the objections urged in the document, 
showed that in all essential points they were without foundation, 
and concluded by appealing to the president to take back the com- 
munication, call his board together, and reconsider